Nobel Gurnah, exits for Theseus’ ship On the seashore

(ANSA) – ROME, NOV 29 – BDULRAZAK GURNAH, ON THE SEA SHORE (La nave di Teso, pp 324, euro 20) It will be in Italian bookstores on December 9th ‘Sulla riva del mare’ (‘By the Sea’, 2001) of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2021, Bdulrazak Gurnah, in the translation by Alberto Cristofori.

With this novel more timely than ever, on the theme of exile and migration, La nave di Theseo begins the publication of Gurnah’s works of which he acquired the rights after a long negotiation with the British agency Roger Coleridge & White. It is the story of two men who have bet everything to change their lives, a relentless literary look at the forgotten legacy of the postcolonial world.

65-year-old Saleh Omar is a merchant from Zanzibar, seeking asylum in England. Present-day Sindbad, Omar leaves a land where the evil genius has incarnated as thieving rulers equipped with all forms of modern political violence: concentration camps, weapons, and a bevy of courtiers. Upon his arrival in London, at Gatwick airport, Omar shows an invalid visa, issued at home by his relative and archenemy, Rajab Shaaban Mahmud.

Omar had been advised to show that he did not understand a word of English, so the social worker who took charge of his case was forced to seek the advice of an expert from Kiswahili, one of the East African dialects.

Ironically, the interpreter is Latif Mahmud, the son of Rajab, Omar’s great enemy. The man has crossed every bridge with his family of origin since the 1960s, when he sought asylum as a refugee in England, where he lives in nostalgia for his homeland. Now, Omar comes face to face with Latif in an English seaside town. Both refugees, with a common origin and destiny. The son of Omar’s persecutor is also the person who can save him and finally give him a new life.

The first Tanzanian writer to win the prestigious Swedish Academy award and the first black African author to achieve it since Wole Soyinka’s victory in 1986, Gurnah, born in 1948 and raised on the Indian Ocean island of Zanzibar, was forced to 18 years to leave his family and flee the country, the then fledgling Republic of Tanzania. He arrived in the United Kingdom, where he still lives today, as a refugee in the late 1960s, and only in 1984 was he able to return to Zanzibar. Author of ten novels and a series of short stories, Gurnah began writing at the age of 21 in exile, in English, and although Swahili was his first language, English has become his literary language. He debuted in 1987 with Memory of Departure which talks about a failed revolt and is linked to the African continent.

Between the Indian Ocean and the English Channel, ‘On the shore of the sea’ reminds us that the story and the exchange of experiences can offer us the possibility of rediscovering ourselves and others.

With this book, the catalog of the publishing house is enriched not only with an extraordinary voice of world literature, but with another authoritative voice of the African continent, to which La nave di Teseo has paid the utmost attention from the beginning.

Another book of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2021 is also scheduled to be released in December: ‘Paradise’ from 1994, in the translation by Laura Noulian, which marked his turning point as a writer and in which echoes of Joseph Conrad have been recognized. . Both novels had been released in Italy by Garzanti and had long since been unavailable. (HANDLE).


Source From: Ansa

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