On a late November afternoon Saleh Omar arrives at Gatwick Airport from Zanzibar, a far away island in the Indian Ocean. With him he has a small bag in which. By the Sea [Abdulrazak Gurnah] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. On a late November afternoon Saleh Omar arrives at Gatwick Airport. Close reading of By the Sea. Chelsea Haith. The analysis is of the following paragraph from Abdulrazak Gurnah’s By the Sea (The New Press.

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He also calls himself Rajab Shaaban, a name he has borrowed for reasons that soon become clear.

Jun 29, Pbl hurnah it. The plot is very simple, there is no obvious climax but the narrative makes up for it. As it is always the case with Gurnah, t This is an example of how good writing can turn a simple plot into a wonderful reading experience. Upon arrival at Gatwick Airport, Omar presents an invalid visa, made out to his distant cousin and most hated enemy, Rajab Shaaban Mahmud.

writers make worlds

Houses change hands, families are ruined, governments change and fall. And whether the exile is voluntary or forced, literal or metaphorical, displacement opens up a vivid cut of loss, a liability for myriad reinterpretation and retelling of whatever stories might lurk there, silted up in the alluvial grit of time.

However, in this one we get to see the European settlers point of view, which is very interesting. Related tenuously by marriage, the two men’s lives have been intertwined by a series of slights and betrayal, each branch of the family grasping for the prope By the Sea is beautiful, a meandering story of remembrance that takes you from Zanzibar to London, through Malaya and Persia, a story of business, love, and revenge.


And he presents an asylum-seeker, labelling him, and that way reducing him, before giving him voice. The personal essay is not dead, but has it traded Boots Riley’s new film roasts racial You will be helping us cultivate a public sphere that honors pluralism of thought for a diverse and discerning public. And sometimes they something back to me.

Wandering through Saleh Omar’s memories and Latif Mahmud’s accusations, Abdulrazak Gurnah reminds you again and again that what you perceive as a child may not always be true. Weekly Poetry Newsletter Boston Events: And it’s by the sea in London, where Saleh tries to build a new life–or at least to let what’s left of his life end peacefully–that he has to face the painful past and finally lay it to rest. Aug 07, Gabriela rated it it was amazing. A very good read.

Gurnah appears to be making a similar metaphorical claim to Bruce Chatwin’s: The temptation to read one character or the other as “the author’s alter-egos” is strong.

Latif Mahmud sat leaning back, his gaunt face tight in a grimace of fortitude, his lips pressed together and widened into the beginning of a grotesque smile. Susan SontagGeoffrey Movius. It tells us much about deceit, anguish and alienation but also understanding and acceptance. Think of the Babylonian epic Gilgamesh, now 5, years old and dense as ever with revelations; or the Odyssey actually, Homer is said to have filched scenes from Gilgamesh.

He arrives in England and seeks asylum. Held a prisoner most of his life for his supposed treachery, will Saleh Omar seek atonement for his deeds from Latif Mahmud?


Before maps, the world was limitless. We are committed to staying free for all our readers. This is an captivating story of legacy and turmoil woven with great personal insight and clever prose.

By the Sea: Abdulrazak Gurnah: Bloomsbury Paperbacks

Lovely story, tedious writing. This novel is an unusual and beautiful story. Apr 18, Mary rated it really liked it. Started off thinking it was a bit hard to read and a bit dependent on my mood. These sections of the book did not become a theme but were one of the seq to me.

Dec 21, Ming rated it liked it. He arrives in England under another name, a name that has its own history, its own story, a borrowed name, believing that silence is his only protection. Meanwhile Latif Mahmud, someone intimately connected with Saleh’s past, lives quietly alone in his London flat.


Sep 10, Carla Castanos rated it really liked it. By the Sea Bloomsbury Paperbacks. The story told is a seemingly straightforward one: It is a story of love, betrayal, of seduction and of possession, and of a people desperately trying to find stability amidst the maelstrom of their times. Imperfect Remembrance Marta Figlerowicz. Plus, besides the beauty of the story, the author touches on timeless themes: When Saleh and Latif meet in an English seaside town, a story is unravelled.

Saleh Omar is a 65 bj old from Zanzibar.