Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah wins 2021 literature Nobel
Abdulrazak Gurnah (Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
TAMZANIAN novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah has won the Nobel Prize in literature for 2021 for his uncompromising work on the effects of colonialism and the fate of refugees. Born in the island of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean in 1948 who arrived in the UK at the end of the 1960s, Gurnah was till recently the professor of English and Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Kent, Canterbury, and has 10 novels and several short stories to his credit.
He is the first non-European writer since Japan-born Kazuo Ishiguro in 2017 to have been conferred the award. The Swedish Academy that gives the award cited Gurnah’s “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents” while revealing the recipient’s name.
“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,” the academy said in a statement. Gurnah’s notable works include Paradise (1994) and Desertion (2005).
So far, 117 people have received the Nobel Prize in literature and of them, 16 are women.
This year, the Nobel in Chemistry went to Benjamin List of Germany and David Macmillan of the UK while in Physics, one half jointly went to Syukuro Manabe of Japan and Klaus Hasselmann of Germany and the other half to Giorgo Parisi of Italy. In medicine, Americans Ardem Patapoutian and David Julius won the award.