By The Sea

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This book completely surprised me. The magical narration, the nostalgic voice of the characters, the pain, hurt, memories and restoration, redemption and forgiveness is beautiful and something my own heart desires. Captivating story. Here are a few jewels I found in Abdulrazak Gurnah’s novel By The Sea:

“It’s a dour place, the land of memory, a dim gutted warehouse with rotting planks and rusted ladders where you sometimes spend time rifling through abandoned goods.”

“I feel that I am an involuntary instrument of another’s design, a figure in a story told by someone else.”

“I knew the meaning if silence, the danger of words.”

“I wanted to sit alone in the dark and count the bones in my head.”

“[I]t is a function of mature years to seek to explain and redeem the folly and malice of younger years, to give redress and receive understanding.”

“[T]hey were people who had an opinion on most things, and did not hesitate to deliver it, people puffed up with sagacity and pride, whose wisdom depended on their conviction of everyone else’s idiocy.”

“And I knew then what a desert my life had been before that, and learnt the sweetness of silence between companions.”


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