Leaving Zanzibar after the 1964 revolution, Abdulrazak Gurnah became a professor of English and postcolonial literature in England, and in 2021 was awarded the Nobel Prize. His evocative fiction explores the loneliness of exile, the fate of the refugee, and the effects of colonialism.
Dear Catherine, he began. Here I sit, making a meal out of asking you to dinner. I don't really know how to do it. Daud has immigrated to England in the wake of political turmoil in Tanzania. For years, he has tried to hide his past. But when he meets Catherine, he is determined to recount for her the stories of his tragic upbringing, his flight to England, and the racism in his new homeland. Abdulrazak Gurnah's 1988 novel is structured as a pilgrimage, one which leads Daud deep into the pain and beauty of the past and forward into a new understanding of his life in exile.