Memory of Departure: By the Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2021

Vehement, comic and shrewd, Abdulrazak Gurnah’s first novel is a compelling (New York Times) and unwavering contemplation of East African coastal life.

Hassan Omar is a gifted young man, with a potentially bright future but a past marred by poverty. In the wake of a national uprising, and with a new government in place, though, he is denied a scholarship to a university abroad and deprived of the opportunity to study further. Instead, Hassan travels to Nairobi to stay with a wealthy uncle, in the hope that he will release his mother’s rightful share of the family inheritance.

In Nairobi, Hassan experiences the collision of past secrets and future hopes, and the compounding of fear and frustration, beauty and brutality. In his debut novel, Nobel Prize winning author Abdurlazak Gurnah creates a fierce tale of undeniable power

Abdulrazak Gurnah is the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2021. He is the author of ten novels: Memory of Departure, Pilgrims Way, Dottie, Paradise (shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Award), Admiring Silence, By the Sea (longlisted for the Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Award), Desertion (shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize) The Last Gift, Gravel Heart, and Afterlives, which was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Fiction 2021 and longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize. He was Professor of English at the University of Kent, and was a Man Booker Prize judge in 2016. He lives in Canterbury.

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