57 pages 1 hour read

Abdulrazak Gurnah


Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2020

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Further Reading & Resources

Further Reading: Literature

Paradise by Abdulrazak Gurnah (1995)

One of Gurnah’s most acclaimed novels, this book was singled out by the Nobel committee as Gurnah’s breakthrough book. Like Afterlives, Paradise is set in Tanzania in the early-20th century, wrestling with themes of colonialism, war, and personal struggles.

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (2020)

Written about the same chronological period and also by a Nobel prize-winning author, The Good Earth depicts Chinese citizens forced from their homes by natural disasters, military conflict, and changing governments, much like the characters in Afterlives.

Further Reading: Beyond Literature (nonfiction)

My Reminiscences of East Africa: The German East Africa Campaign in World War One by General Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck (1920)

Published two years after the conclusion of World War I, the author describes the guerilla warfare the German military used against the British, including famous battles involving numerous characters in Afterlives.

Aspects of Colonial Tanzania History by Lawrence E. Y. Mbogoni (2012)

These essays describe the regular dealings of Tanzanians with their colonizers, providing valuable historical context for readers of Afterlives.

Video & Podcast Resources

On Abdulrazak Gurnah: Belonging, Colonialism, Arrival,” the University of Kent (2022)

This is an interactive lecture by Gurnah on the common themes of his novels.

Related Titles

By Abdulrazak Gurnah

Study Guide



Abdulrazak Gurnah


Abdulrazak Gurnah