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For seven-year-old Salim, the pillars upholding his small universe - his indifferent father, his adored uncle, his treasured books, the daily routines of government school and Koran lessons - seem unshakeable.
But it is the 1970s, and the winds of change are blowing through Zanzibar: suddenly Salim's father is gone, and the island convulses with violence and corruption the wake of a revolution. It will only be years later, making his way through an alien and hostile London, that Salim will begin to understand the shame and exploitation festering at the heart of his family's history.
About the Author
Abdulrazak Gurnah is the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2021. He is the author of ten novels: Memory of Departure, Pilgrims Way, Dottie, Paradise (shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Award), Admiring Silence, By the Sea (longlisted for the Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Award), Desertion (shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize) The Last Gift, Gravel Heart, and Afterlives, which was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize for Fiction 2021 and longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize. He was Professor of English at the University of Kent, and was a Man Booker Prize judge in 2016. He lives in Canterbury.
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