Abdulrazak Gurnah (2337 words)


The work of remembering is central to Abdulrazak Gurnah’s literary art, much of which is based on a desire to recuperate the history/ies of the Swahili Coast, and, more specifically, of the people of his native Zanzibar. He draws on innovative ways of using memory as a tool for deconstructing historical narratives, enacting in his fiction the tension between the individual’s perception of history and that of the collectivity. He captures the sense of uprooting that exile etches on those people who are either compelled by circumstance or voluntarily choose to abandon their homelands. His work has no doubt been greatly inspired by his own experience as an African migrant in 1960s Britain, which filters in the loneliness his characters …

Citation: Hand, Felicity. "Abdulrazak Gurnah". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 August 2012 [https://staging.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=11741, accessed 02 December 2022.]

11741 Abdulrazak Gurnah 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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