Abdulrazak Gurnah wins the Nobel Prize for literature in 2021

This year’s Nobel prize for literature has been awarded to Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah.

Born in Zanzibar in 1948 and based in England, Professor Gurnah currently teaches at the University of Kent. Gurnah has published ten novels as well as a number of short stories. His 1994 novel, Paradise, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.

The Swedish Academy awarded Gurnah the prize ‘for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents’.

Following the announcement, when asked about what compels him to write, Gunrah responded: ‘It’s both the pleasure of making things, crafting, getting it right, but it’s also the pleasure of getting something across, of… of giving pleasure, of making a case, of persuading, and all of those kind of things.’ You can hear (or read) the rest of this interview here.

The award comes with a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor (approximately $1.5 million). Previous recipients of the award include novelists such as Doris Lessing, Toni Morrison, Kazuo Ishiguro, Ernest Hemingway, songwriter Bob Dylan, and poet Pablo Neruda. You can learn more about previous recipients of the award here.



Abdulrazak Gurnah

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