How Private Memory Intersects With and Informs Public History in Selected Works of Abdulrazak Gurnah


  • Seraphine Chepkosgei Kerich Department of Literature, University of Eldoret


History, public history, Zanzibari Arab


This paper explores how Private Memory intersects with the Public History of the Zanzibari Arab Community and employs the tropes of: Reverse Chronology and History as a way of using Fiction to represent and contextualize how they inform the discourse of identity formations and/or constructions of the Zanzibari Arab Community, especially in relation to the trauma that accompanies the latter’s migration. It is important to mention that the identities of the diasporic Zanzibari Arabs has suffered from the disruptions caused by colonialism and the coming of independence, both of which have left individual members of this community, as well as its entirety, with a traumatized memory of who they are.


Download data is not yet available.
Alpers, E. A. (1975).Ivory and slaves: Changing patterns of international trade in East Central Africa to the later nineteenth century. Berkley: California.
Basil, S, C. (1980). From slaves to squatters: Plantation labor and agriculture in Zanzibar and coastal Kenya, 1890-1925. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Basil, S, C. (1990). The end of slavery in Zanzibar and British East Africa. In The Journal of the Royal African Society, Vol. 9, No.33, pp. 20-33.
Cooper, F. (1977). Plantation slavery on the East Coast of Africa. New Haven & London: Yale University Press.
de Certeau, M. (1984). The practice of everyday life. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Foucault, M. (1980). Language, counter-memory, practice: Selected essays and interviews (With an introduction) (ed.). D. F. Bouchard. Ithaca, N. Y.: Cornell University Press.
Gurnah, A. (1994). Paradise. London: Bloomsbury.
Gurnah, A. (1996). Admiring Silence. New York: New Press.
Gurnah, A. (2002). By The Sea. London: Bloomsbury.
Gurnah, A. (2006). Desertion. London: Bloomsbury.
Gurnah, A. (2011). The Last Gift. London: Bloomsbury.
Johnson, R. (Ed.) (1982). Making histories: Studies in history, writing and politics. London: Hutchinson and Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies.
Le Cour, G. C. (1989). Rich cousins poor cousins: Hidden stratification among the Omani Arabs in Eastern Africa. Journal of the International African Institute. Vol. 59, No.2, pp. 176-184: Cambridge University Press.
Le Goff, J. (1992). History and memory. (S. Rendall & E. Claman, Trans.) New York: Columbia University Press.
Macherey, P. (1978). A theory of literary production. (G. Wall, Trans.) London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
Masterson, J. (2010).The pains and gains of immigrant experience. Vol. 45(3), pp. 409-427. Johannesburg, South Africa. University of Witwatersrand.
Muller, C. (1995). Once upon a tender time. New Delhi, India: Penguin Books.
Mwulia, M. D. E. (1975). East African slave trade: Britain and slavery in East Africa. Washington D.C.: Three Continents Press.
Palumbo-Liu, D. (1996). The politics of memory: Remembering history in Alice Walker and Joy Kogawa. In A. Singh, T. Joseph, G, Skerrett Jr. & R. E. Hogan (Eds.).Memory and cultural politics. Boston: Northeastern University Press.
Randall, L. P. (1978). The medieval foundations of East African Islam, Part I. International Journal of African Historical Studies, XI.
Redfield, R. (1985). The little community and peasant society and culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Ortner, S. B. (1990). Making gender: The politics and erotics of culture. Boston: Beacon Press.
Simatei, T. P. (2001). The novel and the politics of nation building in East Africa. African Studies, Vol.55. Bayreuth: Bayreuth University.
Trouillot, M-R. (1995). Silencing the past: Power and the production of history. Boston, Massachusetts: Beacon Press.
Tzevan, T. (1981). Introduction to poetics. Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.
Woods, T. (2007). African pasts: Memory and history in African literatures. New York: Manchester University Press. Wright, M., (1993). Strategies of slaves and women life stories from East and Central Africa. London: James Currey.



How to Cite

Chepkosgei Kerich, S. . (2017). How Private Memory Intersects With and Informs Public History in Selected Works of Abdulrazak Gurnah. Nairobi Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 1(1), 51-73.