Nobel Prize in Literature 2021
The Nobel Prize in Literature 2021 was awarded to the 73-year-old Zanzibar-born writer Abdulrazak Gurnah "for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents.
- Gurnah was born in 1948 and grew up on the island of Zanzibar, but arrived in England as a refugee at the end of the 1960s.
- Abdulrazak Gurnah has published ten novels and a number of short stories. The theme of the refugee’s disruption runs throughout his work.
- He began writing as a 21-year-old in English exile, and although Swahili was his first language, English became his literary tool.
- His most famous novel is Paradise, which was shortlisted for the Booker prize in 1994.
- Gurnah consciously breaks with convention, upending the colonial perspective to highlight that of the indigenous populations. Thus, his novel Desertion (2005) about a love affair becomes a blunt contradiction to what he has called “the imperial romance, '' the Nobel Prize added.
- Gurnah becomes the first Tanzanian writer to win the Nobel Prize.
- One of his most recent works is Afterlives, a many layered story on Africa’s colonial history written in his trademark graceful prose that earned great plaudits.