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A LIFE by Simone VEIL Editions Stock 2009
BY THE SEA by Abdulrazak Gurnah
Nobel Prize for Literature in 2021
Bloomsbury Publishing (UK); The New Press (US)
A family affair. The two protagonists of this novel, from Zanzibar, will find themselves in the United Kingdom and recall their lives, especially the one of their father and grandfather. We could describe this novel as an oriental tale, resembling that of Scheherazade in the Thousand and one Night, as the characters entangled themselves before arriving at the final outcome.
It is a novel about memory, it reveals like a mirror how each one has his own version of the same facts with its own truth.
It is also a novel about exile and immigration. One of the characters will cross regions as different as the GDR, East Africa, before arriving in the United Kingdom where he becomes a writer. The second character, mistreated in his own country, will ask for asylum.
The book allows us to better understand English-speaking East Africa, and also the territories close to the Indian Ocean, the Arabian Gulf and Southeast Asia where people have been trading with one another for centuries.|