By the Sea
Author: Abdulrazak Gurnah
9781526653253 | PB | pp. 256 | 2021 | Bloomsbury
By the Sea is the spellbinding story of a sixty-five year old merchant refugee from Zanzibar who leaving all his belongings seeks asylum in England.
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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 lies his most precious possession – a mahogany box containing incense. He used to own a furniture shop, have a house and be a husband and father. Now he is an asylum seeker from paradise; silence his only protection.
Meanwhile Latif Mahmud, someone intimately connected with Saleh’s past, lives quietly alone in his London flat. When Saleh and Latif meet in an English seaside town, a story is unravelled. It is a story of love and betrayal, seduction and possession, and of a people desperately trying to find stability amidst the maelstrom of their times.
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