On a late November afternoon Saleh Omar arrives at Gatwick Airport from Zanzibar, a far away island in the Indian Ocean. With him he has a small bag in which. By the Sea [Abdulrazak Gurnah] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. On a late November afternoon Saleh Omar arrives at Gatwick Airport. Close reading of By the Sea. Chelsea Haith. The analysis is of the following paragraph from Abdulrazak Gurnah’s By the Sea (The New Press.

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Although I’m sure the author has no axe to grind, his novel gjrnah almost be seen as a poetic manifesto against the tyranny of language when used as a tool of the state. Refresh and try again. The two are the recently arrived and much older Saleh Omar.

By the Sea – Abdulrazak Gurnah – Google Books

This is a story of injustice, family betrayals and rivalries over what end up being petty things, but which become big in the grand scale of things. They meet in a small town by the sea after 30 years without having seen each other and settle old scores.

It was easier to feel compassion for all characters when reading the unfiltered version of their sorrows, pardon my sadistic opinions. An impressively quiet book that addresses important themes with intelligence and empathy.

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When aging Saleh Omar, a Zanzibar native, arrives in England seeking asylum, he claims not to speak English.

Abdu,razak liked the writing very much and would definitely read more by Gurnah. This is the story of two men from Zanzibar who arrive in the UK as refugees, as told by them meaning two narrators. As with the search for Moby Dick, Gurnah is in pursuit of stories that are ‘always slipping through our fingers, changing shape, wriggling to get away’.


This was a clever and engaging story. This is an captivating story of legacy and turmoil woven with great personal insight and clever prose. Still, the shape of the story is firmly entrenched in the narrative tradition of Gurnah’s Zanzibar.

Much of the book is Saleh telling Latif the real story of this feud; style is unusual as the story is told like a story rather than as narrative. Two men — one a furnituremaker, business- and family man, the other a poet and professor — find themselves refugees in England and as they tell the story of their You might have noticed the absence of paywalls at Boston Review. Behind the scene, pulling the strings, is Hussein, who both entrances and tricks, then disappears home to Persia to let things fall out as they may.

Oct 18, Wangui rated it liked it. The rest of the book tells of life in Zanzibar, the pettiness and mindless attempts at greed and duplicity in dealing with a person’s estate after they had died.

Apr 18, Mary rated it really liked it. Got better and better. No eBook available Amazon. Geoffrey Movius in conversation with Susan Sontag. Silence may indeed be protection, but it is only once he finds the voice and the strength to tell his story, that he is able to resolve his issues with the past. It’s the first novel about Zanzibar I have read in English and I was quite excited about it. Meanwhile, poet and professor Latif Mahmud, also from Zanzibar, having been alerted by the authorities that a fellow Zanzibari might need help with translation, looks back at his own past.

At times, the story seems to drift too far into the past, and you end up on distant shores wondering why Abdulrazak has left you there, but down each branching river, you end up by the same shore, realising that each diverging stream had an effect that ultimately led to Saleh’s persecution and need for asylum. Be the first to discover new talent! Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.


I look forward to reading more from this author. Several interesting characters, intricate relationships passed by and fascinating places were painted with great care, and page by page more background information was added to the asylum seeker at Gatwick airport.

Jan 22, Melodyredford rated it it was amazing. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Yet it’s not Hussein himself who brings about their downfall.

Will Latif Mahmud pardon Saleh Omar’s crimes? However, in this one we get to see the European settlers point of view, which is very interesting. The book is narrated by him and Latif Mahmud, a younger man who’s father played an integral role in Omar’s life.

By the Sea: Abdulrazak Gurnah: Bloomsbury Paperbacks

Seven years later, the monsoon brings civilian strife and a Marxist coup. Sorry, Not Sorry Boots Riley’s new film roasts racial The Reformatory Tananarive Due. Early in the book Omar tells of his hatred Imperialism, he is bitter about the changes it made to his country and in the mess it left when the English departed.

This is not as strange as it sounds, nor is it an unheard of thing. Man Booker Prize Nominee for Longlist The sea of the title is both the literal sea that Saleh lives beside – first the Indian Ocean, then the sea off a nameless English seaside town – and the sea-as-metaphor, profound, protean. Jun 29, Pbl added it. There was a problem adding your email address.