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10 novels written by Nobel Laureate Abdulrazak Gurnah

Winning the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature comes with mixed feelings for Gurnah and the rest of us who are book lovers.

For some, the name is new, suggesting Gurnah as a writer who moved from oblivion to stardom.

To some others, Abdulrazak Gurnah is a name synonymous to life experiences of refugees as most of his works mirrors these quintessential realities in the purest form.

While congratulatory messages continue to pure in, here are 10 novels written by the novelist that you may consider to have a feel of the author and foremost editor who has lived and worked in different countries to include Tanzania, Nigeria, and England.

Beyond the titles, these are some of the commentaries we got from leading book aggregator website, Goodread.

ALSO READ: Abdulrazak Gurnah: former Bayero University lecturer wins 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature

We hope you will love it.

The Last Gift: Abdulrazak Gurnah

Abdulrazak Gurnah books The Last Gift

One day, long before the troubles, he slipped away without saying a word to anyone and never went back. And then another day, forty three years later, he collapsed just inside the front door of his house in a small English town.

Memory of Departure: Abdulrazak Gurnah

Abdulrazak Gurnah novels Memory of Departure

Vehement, comic and shrewd, Abdulrazak Gurnah’s first novel is an unwavering contemplation of East African coastal lifePoverty and depravity wreak havoc on Hassan Omar’s family. Amid great hardship he decides to escape. The arrival of Independence brings new upheavals as well as the betrayal of the promise of freedom.

Paradise: Abdulrazak Gurnah

Abdulrazak Gurnah novels Paradise

Paradise is a historical novel by Abdulrazak Gurnah. The novel was nominated for both the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Prize for Fiction. When Gurnah was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2021, Paradise was the determining novel for the decision.

Dottie: Abdulrazak Gurnah

Abdulrazak Gurnah novels Dottie

A searing tale of a young woman discovering her troubled family history and cultural pastDottie Badoura Fatma Balfour finds solace amidst the squalor of her childhood by spinning warm tales of affection about her beautiful names.

Desertion: Abdulrazak Gurnah

Abdulrazak Gurnah novels Desertion

In 1899, an Englishman named Martin Pearce stumbles out of the desert into an East African coastal town and is rescued by Hassanali, a shopkeeper whose beautiful sister Rehana nurses Pearce back to health. Pearce and Rehana begin a passionate illicit love affair, which resonates fifty years later when the narrator’s brother falls madly in love with Rehana’s granddaughter.

In the story of two forbidden love affairs and their effects on the lovers’ families, Abdulrazak Gurnah brilliantly dramatizes the personal and political consequences of colonialism, the vicissitudes of love, and the power of fiction.

Pilgrims Way: Abdulrazak Gurnah

Abdulrazak Gurnah novels Pilgrims Way

An extraordinary depiction of the life of an immigrant, as he struggles to come to terms with the horror of his past and the meaning of his pilgrimage to EnglandDear Catherine, he began. Here I sit, making a meal out of asking you to dinner. I don’t really know how to do it.

Gravel Heart: Abdulrazak Gurnah

Abdulrazak Gurnah novels Gravel Heart

Moving from revolutionary Zanzibar in the 1960s to restless London in the 1990s, Gravel Heart is a powerful story of exile, migration and betrayal, from the Booker Prize-shortlisted author of Paradise. Salim has always believed that his father does not want him.

Others include:

Admiring Silence (1996)
By the Sea (2001)
Afterlives (2020)
“My Mother Lived on a Farm in Africa” (2006)
“The Arriver’s Tale”, Refugee Tales (2016)
“The Stateless Person’s Tale”, Refugee Tales III (2019)

ALSO READ: Abdulrazak Gurnah: former Bayero University lecturer wins 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature

Abdulrazak Gurnah: former Bayero University lecturer wins 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature

About the author

Ridwan Adelaja

Venture analyst focusing on African tech startups, founders and the Big Five ventures: Amazon, Facebook, Apple, Google and Microsoft.

He also takes time out to showcase amazing African thought leaders. Before coming to maintain his spotlight column on Quillcastle Nigeria, he anchored Youngfrica TV Show on CBA TV during his stay in Hargeisa, Somaliland.

Tel: +2348025300029

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