Memory of Departure: By the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2021 (Paperback)
**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.
“A compelling study of one man's struggle to find a purpose for his life and a haunting portrait of a traditional society collapsing under the weight of poverty and rapid change.” —The New York Times
“[Gurnah's] sentences are deceptively soft, but the cumulative force for me felt like a sledgehammer. He has written work that is absolutely unflinching and yet at the same time completely compassionate and full of heart for people of East Africa. He is writing stories that are often quiet stories of people who aren't heard, but there's an insistence there that we listen.” —Maaza Mengiste, author of THE SHADOW KING, shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize
“[A] captivating storyteller, with a voice both lyrical and mordant, and an oeuvre haunted by memory and loss. His intricate novels of arrival and departure … reveal, with flashes of acerbic humour, the lingering ties that bind continents, and how competing versions of history collide.” —Guardian
“Gurnah writes with wonderful insight about family relationships and he folds in the layers of history with elegance and warmth.” —The Times