May 26, 2022

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Review: Abdul Razzaq Qurna: "Faraway Shores" - This is the book

Review: Abdul Razzaq Qurna: “Faraway Shores” – This is the book


The rediscovery continues: the now translated novel is perhaps the best for the Nobel Prize winner.

Starts strong. So powerful that after the slight disappointment of Paradise Lost, Abderrazak Jarna’s first novel which was also available in German shortly before the awards ceremony last November, it suddenly becomes clear why the Tanzanian was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. “Ferne Gestade” begins with a man’s search for his story, between two lives, filled with memories of the familiar lost, still far from the strange present surrounding him – “I am a refugee. Asylum seekers ”, coming from Zanzibar, came to England, like Gourna himself.

The story of a man searching for his story: the film “Furn Shore” by Abdel Razzaq Jarna.

But the mirror figure of the author is not the 65-year-old, but the one called in to help as a translator, a younger guy who had gone the same way earlier, found his way here by studying in sister state East Germany and studying literature in London (as Gouma). He is stunned when he hears the name of the newcomer. He is his deceased father. In fact, the two men share a bitter past as a result of changing power structures in their colonial homeland. Unfortunately, the book, which was also nominated for a Booker Prize when it was originally published 20 years ago, is clearly losing ground in the longer retrospective passages. But it is through the encounter of men, and their struggle with the other, with themselves and their common and separate history, that the disguise ultimately prevails.

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About the book: Abdul-Razzaq Al-Qurna: Distant Shores. ad. English v. Thomas Bruckner, Penguin, 416 pages, 26 euros (from 14 March)

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