Exploring the Interstices of Aging and Narrative Agency in M.G. Vassanji’s The Book of Secrets and Abdulrazak Gurnah’s By the Sea
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Indian Ocean literature has captured the porousness and fluidity that configure the Indian Ocean space through narrations in which history and memory, both individual and collective, blend to voice the uninhabited silence forged by unsettled colonialism. M.G. Vassanji’s The Book of Secrets (1994) and Abdulrazak Gurnah’s By the Sea (2001) are perspicuous exponents of the undertows that lurk behind the troubled existence of uprooted individuals for whom the act of telling stories becomes their means of survival. Given the old age of the protagonists of both novels, Pius Fernandes in The Book of Secrets and Saleh Omar in By the Sea, this article examines the power of narration from the perspective of narrative gerontology. Imbued with the spirit of Scheherazade’s The Arabian Nights, itself an Indian Ocean literary reference, Pius Fernandes and Saleh Omar biographical accounts become the source of their literal / literary survival.
Is part ofRevista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses, 2021, núm. 82, p. 79-93
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