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Admiring Silence by Abdulrazak Gurnah

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Masterfully blending myth and reality, this is the story of a man's escape from his native Zanzibar to England to build a new life. A dazzling tale of cultural identity and displacement

He thinks, as he escapes from Zanzibar, that he will probably never return, and yet the dream of studying in England matters above that.

Things do not happen quite as he imagined – the school where he teaches is cramped and violent, he forgets how it feels to belong. But there is Emma, beautiful, rebellious Emma, who turns away from her white, middle-class roots to offer him love and bear him a child. And in return he spins stories of his home and keeps her a secret from his family.

Twenty years later, when the barriers at last come down in Zanzibar, he is able and compelled to go back. What he discovers there, in a story potent with truth, will change the entire vision of his life.

Product details

Goodreads rating: 3.99

Condition: Used - good

Format: Paperback, 224 pages

Dimensions: 128 x 196 x 15mm, 168g

Publication date: 1 Jan 1997

Publisher: Penguin Books

ISBN-13: 9780140233124