Novel Review: Paradise by Abdulrazak Gurnah
Bonne September. Fadima Mooneira is back with a new post and novel review. I just finished reading a novel titled Paradise by Abdulrazak Gurnah last week. So in this post, I would like to share my thoughts on this novel with you guys. So let's get started...
ABOUT ABDULRAZAK GURNAH
The author for Paradise novel - Abdulrazak Gurnah (Image: alchetron.com)
Abdulrazak Gurnah is a Tanzanian novelist based in the United Kingdom. He was born in 1948 on the island of Zanzibar, East Africa. Abdulrazak Gurnah came to England as a university student in 1968. He later resides in England and now is a lecturer at the University of Kent. He teaches English Literature.
As a novelist, Abdulrazak Gurnah has achieved numerous successes. Some of his books are Memory of Departure (1987), Pilgrim's Way (1988), Dottie (1990), Essays In African Literature: A Re-evalution (1993), Paradise (1994), Admiring Silence (1996), By The Sea (2001), Desertion (2005), The Cambridge Companion of Salman Rushdie (2007), and The Last Gift (2011).
Paradise is Abdulrazak Gurnah's fourth novel. This novel was published in 1994. Paradise was shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize Award and the Whitbread Prize for Fiction.
Paradise follows the story of a young boy named Yusuf. The story took place in a town of Kawa in Tanzania at the turn of the Twentieth century. At the age of 12, Yusuf was sold by his father (who is in debt) to a powerful Arab merchant named Mr. Aziz. To pay for his father's debt, Yusuf had to work as an unpaid servant for Mr. Aziz.
Later in the story, Yusuf joined Mr. Aziz on a caravan journey. Together with Mr. Aziz and his workers, Yusuf traveled far to Central Afrika and Congo Basin. During his travels, Yusuf met different kinds of African tribes, wild animals, and faced difficult terrains. Yusuf also learned the ways of the world as he encounters an Africa rife with tribal warfare, superstition, disease, child slavery, and marriage.
In the middle of the story, Yusuf hopelessly fell in love with Amina, Mr. Aziz's very young wife. As Yusuf returned home, the World War I begins. Mr. Aziz helped the German Military in recruiting young African men as soldiers.
MY REVIEW ON PARADISE
The novel Paradise was given to me by my mother. My mother told me that this book is a brilliant one, and I should not miss it. I agree with my mother. Paradise is a novel that I must read. Thank you, Eomoni. You are the best!
First of all, I would like to compliment Abdulrazak Gurnah for his brilliant writing style. Abdulrazak Gurnah's writing style makes it easy for readers to visualize the story. As a reader, I can say that I was able to travel in the book. The book took me to East Africa. While reading this book in my room, I fell as if I was one of the workers in Mr. Aziz's caravan. I fell that I was close to the protagonist. To me, that was amazing.
I describe Paradise as an eye-opener book. This novel is also a window for me to learn about the world before the World War I started. Besides that, I also learned some stories in the Al-Quran, African myths, and folktales just by reading Paradise. The author added some African myths, folktales, and stories from Al-Quran in Paradise.
Overall, Paradise is a brilliant novel. I rate this novel 10/10. I highly recommend this novel to those who majored in Social Science and Anthropology. I also recommend this book to those who are working in civil service especially diplomats. But at the same time, I also would like to inform my blog readers that Paradise is not a novel for those who are under 18 years old.
Before I end this post, I would like to ask you guys two questions...
1) Has anyone read Paradise by Abdulrazak Gurnah?
2) If yes, what are your opinions about this novel?
Ok, that's all for now. Last but not least, thank you for reading this review. Hope to see you guys again soon.
Fadima Mooneira ^_^
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