NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, TIME, THE NEW YORKER, BOOKPAGE, AND KIRKUS REVIEWS
“Superb. . . . A celebration of a place and time when people held onto their own ways, and basked in ordinary joys even as outside forces conspired to take them away.” —New York Times
From the winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature, a sweeping, multi-generational saga of displacement, loss, and love, set against the brutal colonization of east Africa.
When he was just a boy, Ilyas was stolen from his parents on the coast of east Africa by German colonial troops. After years away, fighting against his own people, he returns home to find his parents gone and his sister, Afiya, abandoned into de facto slavery. Hamza, too, returns home from the war, scarred in body and soul and with nothing but the clothes on his back–until he meets the beautiful, undaunted Afiya. As these young people live and work and fall in love, their fates knotted ever more tightly together, the shadow of a new war on another continent falls over them, threatening once again to carry them away.
About the Author
Abdulrazak Gurnah is the 2021 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. He is the author of nine previous novels, including Paradise (shortlisted for the Booker Prize), By the Sea (longlisted for the Booker Prize and a finalist for the LA Times Book Award), and Desertion. Born and raised in Zanzibar, he is Professor Emeritus of English and Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Kent; he lives in Canterbury, England.