Afterlives tells the story of three characters: restless, ambitious Ilyas was stolen from his parents by German colonial troops; after years away, he returns to his village to find his parents gone, and his sister Afiya given away. Hamza was not stolen, but was sold; he has come of age in the schutztruppe, at the right hand of an officer whose control has ensured his protection but marked him for life. 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.
In the Evening Standard review, Jane Shilling writes: ‘in concert halls, museums, public institutions and city streets, a passionate debate is taking place about colonialism and the value of individual lives. It is a question that Abdulrazak Gurnah has repeatedly addressed in his long career as a novelist’.
‘A tender account of the extraordinariness of ordinary lives, Afterlives combines entrancing storytelling with writing whose exquisite emotional precision confirms Gurnah’s place among the outstanding stylists of modern English prose’.
The full review can be read on the Evening Standard’s website, here:
And further details about the book can be found on the publisher’s website, here: