- Taschenbuch: 256 Seiten
- Verlag: Bloomsbury Publishing; Auflage: 1 (8. Juli 2002)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0747557853
- ISBN-13: 978-0747557852
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,8 x 1,7 x 19,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 98.923 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
By the Sea (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 8. Juli 2002
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Abdulrazak Gurnah's By the Sea tells of an elderly man coming to Britain from Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania, as an asylum seeker. Rajab Shaaban--the name on his passport--does not explain to the British immigration authorities why he needs asylum, expecting only to be accepted, as the government of Zanzibar has been officially designated "as dangerous to its own citizens". The picture Gurnah paints of the asylum-seeker's lot in late 20th-century Britain is not a favourable one. Shaaban comes to Britain claiming he cannot speak English, yet understands all that is said to him. Through this deception he meets, after 30 years, the son of his namesake; Latif Mahmud has settled in Britain and is presented as an academic expert who will speak Rajab's language. We also receive glimpses of the torture and imprisonment of Shaaban in his own country, where men abuse their power after independence from colonialism. However, this unfair treatment is marginalised by the deception, bitterness and revenge that reverberates between the two families of Gurnah's story.
By the Sea does not present the reader with sympathetic characters and the tales that are woven are often confusing and petty. Mahmud and Shaaban take it in turns to tell their side of the story, almost drenching the reader with too much detail. Notably, Gurnah always makes his characters point out that they do not tell each other the whole truth; they leave gaps as if to protect each other and their families. Unfortunately, this makes the narrative distant and incomplete. It is hard to appreciate the stories and lives being unravelled when the narrators themselves seem unlikeable and distrustful. However, this may merely be a reflection of the bitterness and deprivation suffered in post-colonial Zanzibar, and the desolation that refugees find when away from their birth land. --Olivia Dickinson -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
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The book begins as a leisurely portrait of two lonely immigrants to England from Zanzibar, one of them a distinguished young professor and the other a 65-year-old asylum seeker who has just arrived, pretending he understands no English. As the points of view shift back and forth between the two men in succeeding sections of the novel, we come to know each man well--his life, his aspirations in Zanzibar, his extended family, the family's business connections there, and ultimately, the how and why of each man's emigration to England. Coming from two different generations, each man has a different view of his former country, the older man having spent most of his life there, escaping to England when all other hope is gone, and the younger having left as a young student, but still longing for the connections he left behind.
Powerful ironies drive the action. Each man knows who the other is, or was, in Zanzibar, and each believes that the other's family has brought about his own family's downfall there. As the two men tentatively explore the past and the old man reveals information the young man could never have known, the pace quickens until the past and the present merge and each of the men discovers hidden truths and new strengths. This is passionate book of clear vision, a book which recognizes harsh truths and still remains compassionate. Mary Whipple