Echoes of Haunted Memories and Nightmares: Understanding Trauma in Gurnah's Afterlives


  • Harzat Abbas M. Phil, Department of English Literature and Linguistics, Northern University Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan Author
  • Asif Abbas Lecturer, Government Degree College Gulabad, Dir L, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan Author
  • Asim Iqbal M. Phil, Qurtaba University of Science and Technology, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan Author
  • Palwasha Zeb Khalil M. Phil, Qurtaba University of Science and Technology, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan Author



Afterlives, Trauma Analysis, Postcolonial perspective, trauma


This research paper investigates the exploration of trauma within Abdulrazak Gurnah's novel "Afterlives" (2020), examining the profound impact of historical and personal traumas on the characters, particularly the protagonist Hamza. The research adopts a qualitative research paradigm and incorporates primary and secondary sources to analyze the text comprehensively using trauma analysis theory. Literature, as a dominant medium, reflects human experience, with trauma emerging as a pervasive merged theme of stories of suffering and self-discovery. The examination explores treating trauma as a mere narrative device, revealing it as a tangible representation shaping characters' lives. Memories and nightmares in the novel are depicted as echoes of a haunting past, challenging Hamza's sense of self and resilience. The study concludes that "Afterlives" stands out as an exceptional portrayal of trauma in literature, emphasizing the long-lasting impact on the human psyche. Suggestions include a comparative analysis with similar works, an exploration of postcolonial perspectives in Gurnah's literature, and an examination of healing mechanisms portrayed in the aftermath of trauma. Ultimately, the research adds to a broader comprehension of literary trauma, emphasizing its relevance in shaping human experiences and promoting empathy, kindness, and solidarity in adversity.


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How to Cite

Harzat Abbas, Asif Abbas, Asim Iqbal, & Palwasha Zeb Khalil. (2023). Echoes of Haunted Memories and Nightmares: Understanding Trauma in Gurnah’s Afterlives. University of Chitral Journal of Linguistics and Literature, 7(II), 99-105.

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