Friday, January 7, 2022

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

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

It was in this casual way that I was invited to put the noose around Safiya’s neck and drag her into the shambles of my life. In reality, my mother’s question was forcing the matter to a crisis, my crisis, not the resolution she thought she was bringing about by firm insistence. No escape. My audience waited: Rukiya, Akbar, my mother. Should we not fetch my stepfather? Should he not be here at the execution, to hear me ask forgiveness before submission? They waited, words of approbation lying coiled alongside sour words of blame.

I gathered myself and give it to them, relishing the impact that I knew I was going to make. Here it is, this is how it really is, a lot worse than you could have imagined and nothing much can be done about it.

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