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The Tanzanian-born British author’s Nobel Prize-winning novel, Afterlives, chronicles the story of Ilyas, a boy stolen by German colonial troops. After years of fighting against his own people, Ilyas returns to his village to he finds fractured remnants of a past life:.his parents gone, and his sister, Afiya, in de facto slavery. Another young man, Hamza, returns home from the war at the same time, scarred in body and soul and with nothing but the clothes on his back — until he meets the beautiful, undaunted Afiya. As these interlinked friends and survivors come and go, live and work, and fall in love, the shadow of a new war lengthens and darkens, ready to snatch them up and carry them away.
Abdulrazak Gurnah is an accomplished writer and professor. Born in Zanzibar in 1948, he left the country to study in England in 1968, first at the University of London and then at the University of Kent, where he obtained his PhD. After teaching in England and then lecturing in Nigeria, he returned to the University of Kent where he is now Professor of English and Post-Colonial Studies. His novels have dealt both with the immigrant experience as well as life in east Africa. He lives in Canterbury.
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.
About Seattle Arts & Lectures
Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) cultivates transformative experiences through story and language with readers and writers of all generations. This program is part of their Literary Arts series, featuring talks and conversations with the leading fiction and non-fiction writers of our time. Learn more about SAL programs here.