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The Last Gift
Cover of The Last Gift
The Last Gift
By the winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature
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By the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2021
Abbas has never told anyone about his past; about what happened before he was a sailor on the high seas, before he met his wife Maryam outside a Boots in Exeter, before they settled into a quiet life in Norwich with their children, Jamal and Hanna. Now, at the age of sixty-three, he suffers a collapse that renders him bedbound and unable to speak about things he thought he would one day have to.
Jamal and Hanna have grown up and gone out into the world. They were both born in England but cannot shake a sense of apartness. Hanna calls herself Anna now, and has just moved to a new city to be near her boyfriend. She feels the relationship is headed somewhere serious, but the words have not yet been spoken out loud. Jamal, the listener of the family, moves into a student house and is captivated by a young woman with dark-blue eyes and her own, complex story to tell. Abbas's illness forces both children home, to the dark silences of their father and the fretful capability of their mother Maryam, who began life as a foundling and has never thought to find herself, until now.
By the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2021
Abbas has never told anyone about his past; about what happened before he was a sailor on the high seas, before he met his wife Maryam outside a Boots in Exeter, before they settled into a quiet life in Norwich with their children, Jamal and Hanna. Now, at the age of sixty-three, he suffers a collapse that renders him bedbound and unable to speak about things he thought he would one day have to.
Jamal and Hanna have grown up and gone out into the world. They were both born in England but cannot shake a sense of apartness. Hanna calls herself Anna now, and has just moved to a new city to be near her boyfriend. She feels the relationship is headed somewhere serious, but the words have not yet been spoken out loud. Jamal, the listener of the family, moves into a student house and is captivated by a young woman with dark-blue eyes and her own, complex story to tell. Abbas's illness forces both children home, to the dark silences of their father and the fretful capability of their mother Maryam, who began life as a foundling and has never thought to find herself, until now.
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Awards-
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.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 28, 2013
    Gurnah’s latest (after Paradise) follows an East African immigrant living in a small English town as he and his family reckon with his past, which has long been shrouded in mystery. After suffering a debilitating stroke at age 63, Abbas suddenly wants to speak for the first time about the youthful decisions that drove him to leave his native Zanzibar, become a sailor, and eventually marry and settle down in England. As his wife, Maryam, and their children, Hanna and Jamal, care for the ailing Abbas, they too find themselves confronting their memories. Maryam, for her part, recalls her childhood as a foundling without parents or ancestry, which drove her to cling to Abbas and compromise her dreams. In the meantime, the rebellious Hanna and her English lover, Nick, encounter his family’s condescension and bigotry, while the contemplative grad student Jamal finds love and discovers his vocation as a writer. Over the course of this haunting novel, the dying Abbas prepares a last gift of memory for his wife and children. Though the pacing is slow at times, Gurnah manages to match a strong plot with powerful musings on mortality, the weight of memory, and the struggle to establish a postcolonial identity. Agent: Deborah Rogers, Rogers, Coleridge & White.

  • Aminatta Forna, Financial Times 'Gurnah is a master storyteller ... A subtle and moving tale of a family coming to terms with itself: one to read at leisure and absorb at length'
  • Sunday Times 'A well-made novel about identity and, at a time of forbidding public rhetoric about immigration, Gurnah's sensitive and sympathetic portrayal of his cast feels welcome.'
  • Times Literary Supplement Stories and identities are rarely what they seem in The Last Gift, which is full of carefully guarded secrets. Beneath these multiple clandestine narratives, is a story replete with black humour and contemplative politics, told with great generosity
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    Bloomsbury Publishing
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The Last Gift
The Last Gift
By the winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature
Abdulrazak Gurnah
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