An Island
LONGLISTED FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE - "A ferocious, swift chess game of a novel" (Paul Yoon, author of Run Me to Earth) about a lighthouse keeper with a mysterious past, and the stranger who washes up on his shores--the American debut of a major voice in world literature.

"[A] heartrending psychological portrait of trauma and xenophobia, and the scars left by successive corrupt governments on the people forced to endure them."--Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett, The Guardian

Samuel has lived alone on a small island off the coast of an unnamed African country for more than two decades. He tends to his garden, his lighthouse, and his chickens, content with a solitary life. Routinely, the nameless bodies of refugees wash ashore, but Samuel--who understands that the government only values certain lives, certain deaths--always buries them himself.

One day, though, he finds that one of these bodies is still breathing. As he nurses the stranger back to life, Samuel--feeling strangely threatened--is soon swept up in memories of his former life as a political prisoner on the mainland. This was a life that saw his country exploited under colonial rule, followed by a period of revolution and a brief, hard-won independence--only for the cycle of suffering to continue under a cruel dictator. And he can't help but recall his own shameful role in that history. In this stranger's presence, he begins to consider, as he did in his youth: What does it mean to own land, or to belong to it? And what does it cost to have, and lose, a home?

A timeless and gripping portrait of regret, terror, and the extraordinary stakes of companionship, An Island is a story as page-turning as it is profound.

Publication Date: 
May 17, 2022