Paradise: By the Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2021 (Paperback)

Staff Pick Badge
Paradise: By the Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2021 By Abdulrazak Gurnah Cover Image

Paradise: By the Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature 2021 (Paperback)


On Our Shelves Now
On hand as of Mar 2 9:43pm

Staff Reviews

This novel follows 12 year old Yusuf as he is taken from his home as collateral for his parents' debt to a wealthy merchant. As he grows, Yusuf journeys the African interior, dodges people attracted to his youth & beauty, and learns about faith, freedom, and love.

Taking place in pre-colonial eastern Africa, this historical novel provides breathtaking descriptions of the interior, gripping suspense & danger, and a thought-provoking discussion on human nature through a Koranic and non-European frame. This will be a book I come back to again and again.


— From Brittni

From the Nobel Prize winner, a coming-of-age story that illuminates the harshness and beauty of an Africa on the brink of colonization

" Gurnah's novels] recoil from stereotypical descriptions and open our gaze to a culturally diversified East Africa unfamiliar to many in other parts of the world." --Nobel Committee for Literature at the Swedish Academy

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Award, Paradise was characterized by the Nobel Prize committee as Abdulrazak Gurnah's "breakthrough" work. It is at once the chronicle of an African boy's coming-of-age, a tragic love story, and a tale of the corruption of African tradition by European colonialism.

Sold by his father in repayment of a debt, twelve-year-old Yusuf is thrown from his simple rural life into complexities of pre-colonial urban East Africa. Through Yusuf's eyes, Gurnah depicts communities at war, trading safaris gone awry, and the universal trials of adolescence. The result is what Publishers Weekly calls a "vibrant" and "powerful" work that "evokes the Edenic natural beauty of a continent on the verge of full-scale imperialist takeover."

Abdulrazak Gurnah was born in 1948 in Zanzibar and teaches at the University of Kent. He is the author of "Paradise," "Admiring Silence," and "By the Sea," all published by The New Press.
Product Details ISBN: 9781565841635
ISBN-10: 1565841638
Publisher: New Press
Publication Date: May 1st, 1995
Pages: 256
Language: English