Abdulrazak Gurnah Reads

Abdulrazak Gurnah at The Guardian:

My earliest reading memory
Undoubtedly the Qur’an. Growing up in Zanzibar I started in chuoni, which is what we called Qur’an school, at the age of five and did not start government school until a year later, by which time I was certain to have been reading the short suras. Quite early on in government school, one of our class texts was a Kiswahili translation of Aesop’s Fables, with illustrations of the fox making a futile leap at the grapes and the hare lounging by the roadside as the tortoise came trundling by. I can still see those images.

My favourite book growing up
A Kiswahili translation of abridged selections from Alfu Leila u Leila (A Thousand and One Nights) in four slim volumes. It was there that I first read the story Kamar Zaman and Princess Badoura, which has stayed with me since.

more here.