A coming-of-age story that illuminates the harshness and beauty of an Africa on the brink of colonization

Country: Tanzania

“Paradise” by Abdulrazak Gurnah is a novel that tells the story of Yusuf, a young African boy who is sold by his father to pay off a debt and is thrust into the complex world of pre-colonial East Africa. The book follows Yusuf as he navigates the challenges of growing up and witnesses the corruption of African tradition by European colonialism.

“Paradise” was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Award and was described by the Nobel Prize committee as Gurnah’s “breakthrough” work. The novel has been praised for its portrayal of the natural beauty of Africa and the impact of imperialism on the continent.

For another book by a Nobel winning writer that we recommend, check The Family of Pascal Duerte by Camilo Jose Cela.

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