Thursday, December 30, 2021

the last book I ever read (Admiring Silence by Abdulrazak Gurnah, excerpt four)

from Admiring Silence by Abdulrazak Gurnah, the 2021 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature:

Everything went into abeyance with Amelia’s arrival as we all abandoned whatever else we were doing to cluster round the baby while it shitted and screamed. She screamed a lot, so much that I sometimes felt that the revulsion she felt for what she had been landed into was tragic. Everyone said it was normal, or she had colic or whatever, but I could not help feeling that she was raging with self-pity. It didn’t do her any good, of course. She was here, she was wanted, she was loved, she didn’t have a chance. Whenever she was given the opportunity, she clung to her mother’s breast as if to freedom itself. Life’s like that, clinging futilely to the very objects that imprison us.

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