TANZANIAN-BORN NOVELIST ABDULRAZAK GURNAH WINS NOBEL FOR LITERATURE

Gurnah who focuses his work on colonialism and the experience of refugee crisis and trauma won the Nobel Prize for Literature on 7 October 2021. The Swedish Academy praised Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazal Gurnah and described his work as “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism”.

The writer who is 73, grew up in Zanzibar and arrived in England as a refugee during the 1960s. He is the fifth African writer to win the prestigious prize. He has authored 10 novels, including the famous novel Paradise published in 1994, set in colonial East Africa during World War I. The book was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for fiction.  The literature Nobel Prize is worth 10 million Swedish Crowns or $1.14 million.

“It was such a complete surprise that I really had to wait until I heard it announced before I could believe it”, he said on winning the prize.

Gurnah recently retired from the position of Professor of English and Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Kent in Canterbury. He was focusing on writers known for post colonial literature like Salman Rushdie, Ngugi wa Thiongo, and Woke Soyinka, who is also a Nobel winner.

 

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