“Dear Catherine … I wanted to tell you about my mother’s obsession with hygiene. I wanted to tell you about my separation from my people, and about the guild I feel that they seem to have abandoned me. I wanted to tell you this.”
—From Pilgrims Way
This second novel by 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature recipient Abdulrazak Gurnah gives readers a glimpse into the
living in London. Daud, a young man who made the difficult decision to move to England after much political turmoil in his home country, recounts his experience to Catherine, a young woman who quickly becomes infatuated with Daud. She listens intently to his stories, helping Daud come to terms with his past. While Daud’s perspective is prone to animosity for those around him, his inherent humor prevails, allowing some levity within the heavy material. Lyrically written, this novel highlights the political and social isolation felt by pilgrims in foreign countries while also demonstrating the beauty in new experiences. As Daud critically analyzes the sociopolitical climate in his home country and new land, the audience can’t help but think about how they engage with the world around them.