Brenda Cooper


We should never underestimate stories. Like the jinns1 in The Thousand and One Nights, Gurnah tells us that stories ‘are always slipping through our fingers, changing shape, wriggling to get away’ (130). This essay examines some of those shape shifting stories and the material culture that attempts to anchor and strip them of their beguiling power. It does so in the context of their travelling owners in Abdulrazak Gurnah’s novel, By the Sea.



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