Abdulrazak Gurnah’s fiction offers an opportunity to engage with the heterogeneity of East African coastal regions and their place within the Indian Ocean World, which Gurnah traces through an imaginary geography of transregional/transnational movements and encounters. This article offers a reading of Gurnah’s fiction and in particular his latest novel, Desertion (2005), through the lens of theories of relation as formulated by Martin Buber and Édouard Glissant in order to highlight the importance of encounters across various boundaries. I argue that Gurnah’s fiction, against the backdrop of colonial and nationalist ways of mapping, seeks to re-define “Africa” through glimpses of relational spaces that escape the dystopic politics of exclusion and violence caused by nationalism and notions of ethnicity.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 124-135
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.