Here’s how you take a great sin–maybe The great sin–and particularize it so that our minds can grasp it. The Germans and the British and the Portuguese and the Dutch (and now, of course, the US and China and ad nauseam)–all of these governments have, at one time or another, wanted to get their hands on Africa–really get in there–all the way in–and do what they want to it. Gurnah and his magical Nobel Prize-winning pen tells us the story of a family battered by the complexities of colonialism and their risings and fallings and re-risings. Deep, satisfying, horrifying, wonderful.
Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah, (List Price: $28, Riverhead Books, 9780593541883, August 2022)
Reviewed by Erica Eisdorfer, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina