Paradise by Abdulrazak Gurnah

IMG_1019Set in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Reviewed on 2018/05:

Full disclosure: I think #AbdulrazakGurnah is a highly skilled and prodigious writer. With #paradise and tomorrow’s book review, I have now read 3 of his books. What I really love about him has been a constant feature in all 3 of them. He’s evocative, factual yet mysterious and captivating from the very first pages. He also seems to be obsessed with #comingofage stories and how they serve as a metaphor for the #independencemovements of so many modern #africanstates. In the case of #gurnah he is interested specifically in #tanzania and with Paradise, he takes us into a deep voyage from the coastal #zanzibar and its #swahiliand #muslim communities to the hinterland of the country around the #greatlakes and #sukuma region. It’s a tale of encountering each other, encountering each other’s perceptions and stereotypes, encountering each other in transformative ways, #encountering each other whether we want it or not. For newly independent countries with subjective borders imposed by #colonialism the idea of encountering each other can make or fail a country. This is very similar to those formative years for a child in which events can mark him/her forever. I believe this is definitely what Gurnah is going for: the uncanny similarities between a #child a teenager and a country. In this case we are confronted by both the auspicious and ominous environment around what or who aims to be and still hasn’t managed to. #recommended #tanzanianliterature#daressalaam #thenewpress #mwanza

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