Intricacy of Self-Identity in Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Memory of Departure


P. Monisha, Ph.D Research Scholar, Dr. C. S. Robinson, Professor
Department of English, St. Peters Institute of Higher Education and Research, Avadi, Chennai, India.


This study involves with the works of the Zanzibari-born author Abdulrazak Gurnah whose fiction is devoted to the narrative of exile, migration and issues of self-identity. Gurnah uses inventive structures as an investigative frame to involve with his emotional topic. He depicts identity crisis through his narratives. Each of his works creates a diverse aesthetic appeal through historical contexts. The character narrates about the sense of frustration, identity crisis and homelessness that Gurnah himself most probably would have experienced as teenager in his life. It creates new path of struggle on which he travels to attain maturity as a protagonist in the novel. During the journey of life from childhood to adulthood, Omar as a protagonist is involved in the search for self-identity with the feeling of homelessness within own country during childhood and after migrating to other country. The first essence is concerned with the memory of exile represented through individual as well as collective experiences and the second essence is concerned with the memory of being a child of an Arab migrant. His multifaceted works which also allow the desire of carrying out this difficult but interesting task. This study explores the theme of self-identity in the novel Memory of Departure.