An African boy comes of age in an East Africa increasingly corrupted by colonialism and violence, in Abdulrazak Gurnah’s powerful historical fiction.

It soon transpires that the ‘uncle’ young Yusuf is travelling with is in reality a powerful merchant, and he has been pawned to him to pay his father’s debts. Having been sold into slavery by his father, Yusuf is thrown into a multi-ethnic world of war and violence - and the trials of adolescence - in Abdulrazak Gurnah’s rich 20th century odyssey.

The Booker Prize 1994
Published by
Hamish Hamilton
Publication date
Abdulrazak Gurnah

Abdulrazak Gurnah

About the Author

Abdulrazak Gurnah is the author of nine novels. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in October 2021. He is Emeritus Professor of English and Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Kent, and was a Booker Prize judge in 2016.
More about Abdulrazak Gurnah

This, Abdulrazak Gurnah's fourth novel, is many-layered, violent, beautiful and strange

Other nominated books by Abdulrazak Gurnah

By the Sea