Early one morning in 1899, in a small town along the coast from Mombasa, Hassanali sets out for the mosque. But he never gets there, for out of the desert stumbles an ashen and exhausted Englishman who collapses at his feet. That man is Martin Pearce - writer, traveller and something of an Orientalist. After Pearce has recuperated, he visits Hassanali to thank him for his rescue and meets Hassanali's sister Rehana; he is immediately captivated.
In this crumbling town on the edge of civilised life, with the empire on the brink of a new century, a passionate love affair begins that brings two cultures together and which will reverberate through three generations and across continents.
From the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2021.
As beautifully written and pleasurable as anything I've read ... Gurnah's portrait is the work of a maestro ― Guardian
This is an impressive and deeply serious book, a careful and often heartfelt exploration of the way memory inevitably consoles and disappoints us ― Sunday Times
An absorbing novel about abandonment and loss ... Gurnah writes beautifully, with the satisfying assurance of someone who knows how to achieve his effects without undue fuss but with absolute precision ― Daily Telegraph
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