On a late November afternoon Saleh Omar arrives at Gatwick Airport from Zanzibar, a far away island in the Indian Ocean. With him he has a small bag in which. By the Sea has ratings and 30 reviews. Calzean said: There were parts of this book that were like listening to a maestro story teller, then there wer. 3 quotes from By the Sea: ‘I speak to maps. And sometimes they something back to me. This is not as strange as it sounds, nor is it an unheard of thing.

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A Political and Literary Forum. We have become part of this universe that unfolds in front of us at a level where picturesque or exoticism become simply beauty and diversity. But perhaps that is what life is about for a majority of people.

If you really must leave home, don’t go without your incense

It is a sad but hopeful story. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. A thorough let down in Gurnah’s narration was the dramatic, complicated, and oftentimes, mellifluous storytelling. Suffice to say that the foremost element I liked in this novel was its uncomplicated yet endearing plot.

These circular winds, like orbs of incense smoke, pull us further, deeper, into the mosaic of familial novels. His most recent novel is Desertionshortlisted for a Commonwealth Writers Prize.

As the island’s banks are nationalized, the merchant’s business fails. After reading it I was left with the idea that the Truth isn’t always universal, it varies it the point of view of the narrator of the chapter Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

Maps made places on the edges of the imagination seem graspable gurnay placable. A present-day Sinbad, Omar is fleeing a land where the evil jinn are the larcenous rulers equipped with all the accoutrements of contemporary authoritarianism—concentration camps, rifles, kangaroo courts, etc.


By the Sea

These sections of the book did not become a theme but were one of the highlights to me. The effect is somewhat like going to someone else’ family, school or work reunion. Nor is the refugee only a victim: The temptation to read one character or the other as “the author’s alter-egos” is strong.

View all 5 comments. However, in this ghe we hhe to see the European settlers point of view, which is very interesting. I know his academic work, which is also on postcolonial issue, Eastern Africa and the sea communities along that coast. Imperfect Remembrance Marta Figlerowicz.

By the Sea: Abdulrazak Gurnah: Bloomsbury Paperbacks

The entangled nature of memory and history, misunderstanding, and shame are crucial thematic concerns throughout the novel and are th captured in this moment of uncertainty. These stories are very detailed – lots of characters involved and digressions which are hard for the reader to follow. Overall, a good read, though.

Exile, one of the mainsprings of Abdulrazak Gurnah’s writing, is featured in Paradise, shortlisted in for both Booker and Whitbread prizes, and his fifth novel, Admiring Silence. Perhaps I made a noise.

Oct 29, Anna Tan rated it it was amazing Shelves: Yet it’s not Hussein himself who brings about their downfall. This means you will always be able to read us without roadblocks or barriers to entry.

This is an captivating story of legacy and turmoil woven with vy personal insight and clever prose. Aug 19, Katherine Howell rated it it was amazing. Quotes from By the Sea. And it’s a persistent fascination, something Larkin described, in Poetry of Departures, as ‘this audacious, ggurnah, elemental move,’ ssea mere prospect of which left him ‘flushed and stirred’. Got better and better. See 1 question about By the Sea….

There were parts of this book that were like listening to a maestro story teller, then there were parts of great mundane detail. The memories of him while he was young are warm. Behind the scene, pulling the strings, is Hussein, who both entrances and tricks, then disappears home to Persia to let things fall out as they may.


They are united in England years later, where one seeks asylum while the other is a professor of Literature. It reminded me a little of the effect of reading Proverbs in large chunks — almost too much to want to take in. One of the Saleh Omar is in his mid-sixties and a disgraced business man; the other in his forties, a poet who arrived years before him. Gurnah skilfully sets up situations where we’re quick to judge his characters harshly, bh to find out that we know nothing about them.

The language was so beautiful, so well written, so – wow.

It tells furnah much about deceit, anguish and alienation but also understanding and acceptance. With him he has a small bag in which there lies his most precious possession – a mahogany box containing incense. They find that there is much to remember which has been forgotten and much to come to terms with. Abdulrazak Gurnah was born in in Zanzibar and lives in Furnah, where he teaches at the University of Kent.

More By and About This Author. Its narrator is a refugee from an East African island nation who is seeking to enter England. And the box, stolen, is a Pandora’s box of thieved memories. The story embedded nicely yesterday with today.