NOVEL REVIEW: AFTERLIVES BY ABDULRAZAK GURNAH


Eiyo dearies,

How are you guys doing? I hope you guys are doing good. I'm now back from my break and vacation. Syukur Alhamdulillah, my vacation was awesome. My family and I went to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. We had five days of vacation there. However, I'm not going to share about my five days of vacation with guys in today's post. Oops! Sorry guys :P  But Insya-Allah, I will share it in my future post. So have no worries, guys ^_^

Today, I'm going to share my review of a novel I finished reading last week. The novel is titled Afterlives and it is written by Abdulrazak Gurnah. Guys, FYI, this novel won the Nobel Prize in Literature last year and it has received a lot of positive reviews from book critiques.  So this novel and review is a MUST read. Now let's begin this review with the author's bio...


ABOUT ABDULRAZAK GURNAH

The brilliant author from Tanzania ~ Abdulrazak Gurnah (Image: time.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). 

Last year, Abdulrazak Gurnah won the Nobel Prize Award in Literature for Afterlives. This award gave Abdulrazak Gurnah a bigger recognition as a writer. Most of his novels are now listed as modern-day literature.


ABOUT AFTERLIVES


Afterlives is Abdulrazak Gurnah's latest novel. This novel was first published by Bloomsbury on the 17th of September 2020. Afterlives have received a lot of positive feedback from most book critiques. Most book critiques said that Afterlives is an important novel. Afterlives is a novel that all bookworms must not miss. This novel belongs to the Historical fiction genre.

The story in Afterlives took place during the German colonial era in the early 20th-century in East Africa (right after World War I). Afterlives focused on four main characters - Khalifa, Ilyas, Hamza, and Afiya. These four characters had their own backstory, conflict, and trauma. 

Khalifa was the first protagonist introduced by the author. Khalifa was 26 years old. He was the son of a local African woman and a Gujarati bookkeeper. Early in the story, Khalifa met a merchant named Amur Biashara. Later, he married the merchant's niece, Asha. 

After the couple got married, a young man named Ilyas came to their hometown and entered the scene. Ilyas was the second protagonist introduced by Abdulrazak Gurnah in the story. Ilyas was a local man. But he can speak German fluently compared to other local men. While Ilyas was still a little boy, he was stolen from his family by the German soldiers to join the army. After the war ended, Ilyas returned to his hometown to look for his family. Ilyas found out that his parents were gone, and his younger sister, Afiya was given away.

Afiya was the third protagonist introduced by the author. Afiya was treated badly by her new family. She was beaten so badly for her ability to read and write. At that time, women weren't allowed to read and write. Afiya later asked for Khalifa's help. She wanted to escape her new family and bad life. Khalifa helped Afiya escape. After Afiya succeeded in escaping her family and bad life, she met a handsome man named Hamza.

Hamza was the fourth protagonist introduced by the author. Hamza's story was the most compelling in Afterlives. Hamza was an Askari (a local soldier serving in the armies of European colonial powers in Africa) volunteer who quickly realise his mistake. Unlike Ilyas, Hamza was not stolen to join the army. It was Hamza's own decision to join the Askari. In the war, Hamza had grown up at the right hand of an officer whose protection has marked him for life. When Hamza met Afiya, he fell in love with her. Later in the story, Hamza and Afiya became husband and wife, and they had a son named Ilyas.

Besides these four protagonists, Afterlives also tells its readers about the hardship of life after World War I and during the German colonial era in East Africa, politics, racism, and humanity. The story ends with the beginning of  World War II. 


MY REVIEW OF AFTERLIVES


Afterlives is the second novel from Abdulrazak Gurnah that I've read after Paradise. Like Paradise, Afterlives also tells the story of youth in East Africa. Except that Paradise is about East African youth before World War I begins, and Afterlives is about East African youth after World War I ended. Both novels have the same style of writing, storytelling, and moral message. Both novels showcase the negative impacts of war on youth.

For me, Afterlives is a brilliant read. I like Adulrazak Gurnah's style of writing and storytelling. Abdulrazak Gurnah's style of writing in Afterlives touched my heart. Reading this novel also makes me learn about the history of East Africa during the German colonial era. The way Abdulrazak Gurnah describes the scenes in Afterlives is quite easy for me to visualize. I can feel the hardship these four characters were facing in the story. It was sad :'(

Overall, I rate this novel 10/10. I highly recommend my fellow bookworms to read Afterlives. This novel is a must-read, guys. After all, it has won an award, received a lot of good reviews, and listed as modern-day literature. So there is no reason for all bookworms not to read Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah.


Ok, so this is my review of Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah. So has anyone read this novel? If yes, what are your opinions of Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah? Did you guys enjoy reading it?

Ok, this is all for now. Thank you for reading my review of Abdulrazak Gurnah's Afterlives. I'll see you guys again in my next post. Take care ^_^

XoXo,

Fadima Mooneira ^_^


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Comments

  1. That's awesome you guys enjoyed the trip. These are interesting novels. I will have to check it out. Thank you for the review!

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  2. Wow, this is a very good book! It's awesome that you have read such literary masterpieces! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

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    1. Syukur alhamdulillah. All thanx to my Eomoni ❤️❤️❤️

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  3. What a prolific and interesting writer! This latest book from Abdulrazak Gurnah sounds really great -- I will have to check it out! Thanks for the review (glad you had a great holiday).

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  4. I’m glad you enjoyed both your vacation and this book! It sounds very intriguing. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. You’re welcome. It's a very intellectual fiction.

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  5. The Intelligent ParentJune 8, 2022 at 8:01 AM

    Interesting! I didn't know about this book. Thanks for sharing

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  6. Great review and glad you enjoyed the trip!

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    1. 😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎😎

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  7. I've slowly been enjoying historical fiction since I joined a book club in February. This seems like a great read and will add to my reading list. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Wow... it's so great you're now in a book club. Keep it up and have fun ^_^

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  8. Loved reading this review! I will definitely check it out and maybe read it on my holiday! - I hope you had a lovely holiday too!

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, I had a good vacation. But I need more :P

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  9. Extremely high praise of this book, it sounds like an excellent read. Thanks for sharing your review! x

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    1. Yeah, it was an excellent read. It's anovel you must not miss, Jenny ^_^

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  10. Your glowing review of Afterlives makes me what to read it. Thanks for the recommendation.

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  11. This isn’t usually my go to genre, but it sounds really interesting. You have shared such a detailed review. It is great to hear information about the author behind the book. Thank you for sharing.

    Lauren - www.bournemouthgirl.com

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    1. You're welcome, Lauren. This book worth reading.

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  12. I hadn't heard about this book before. It really seems interesting and I will definitely look for it.
    Eri | weirdlifestyle.com

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  13. I’m so pleased you had a lovely vacation! This is such an amazing in-depth review which I always appreciate reading before buying a book myself. I’ve heard mix reviews on this book but it sounds really interesting. Thank you so much for sharing with us lovely Xo

    Elle - ellegracedeveson.com

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    1. Yeah, it was an awesome read. You need to check it out.

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  14. Wow. A Nobel prize winner! Thanks for the review and I know exactly who to gift the novel to - a friend of mine loves this kind of novel.

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    1. Wow... I'm glad that your friend has a good taste and a good friend like you ^_^

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  15. Jalan cerita dia menarik. I baca review you pun dah wow. I ni memg tak berapa suka baca novel, so i baca serba sedikit dari blog you

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    1. I see... you should read more fictions, Nad. It gives you imagination to write better.

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  16. So glad to hear you and your family had an amazing time on holiday! I never read anything from Gurnah, but this sounds so interesting and after this review I have to add it to my list!

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  17. Nanti i nak share this book to my kawan, dia suka membaca buku begini..
    Tak sabar nak baca You share pi Sabah..

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    1. Hahaha... Insya-Allah. I tengah blurb nie share tang Sabah vacation. Oi'm not very good at writing travel post.

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  18. I don't usually read these types of books but your review makes it sound so interesting! The author himself has lived such an interesting life too.
    So happy you had a great vacation, can't wait to read about it in your next post :)

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    1. Yeah, Abdulrazak Gurnah is an aesome person. He's a creative genius.

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  19. Great review! This sounds like an interesting read.

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  20. wow, you gave this novel a 10/10 rating and now i am feeling so pumped to read it! what an amazing author cant wait to know more about him

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, go for it, Grace. This book is an eye-opener.

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  21. Thanks for sharing this review, it makes me want to check out this book as i m looking for more interesting stories to read.

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  22. Again, this is a book I have never come across before. It does sound like a rare gem. Thanks for sharing.

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