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Tanzania’s Abdulrazak Gurnah wins 2021 Nobel Prize in literature
Gurnah hailed for ‘uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and fate of the refugee’.
Culture & Entertainment
Tanzanian author Abdulrazak Gurnah has won the 2021 Nobel Prize in literature, the award-giving body said.
The prestigious prize was awarded on Thursday by the Swedish Academy, which 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”.
Born in Zanzibar and based in England, Gurnah is a professor at the University of Kent.
He has published 10 novels and a number of short stories. He is best known for his 1994 novel “Paradise”, set in colonial East Africa during World War I, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction.
Anders Olsson, chairman of the Nobel Committee for Literature, called him “one of the world’s most prominent post-colonial writers”.
The prestigious award comes with a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.14m).
Gurnah would have normally received the Nobel from King Carl XVI Gustaf at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on December 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of scientist Alfred Nobel who created the prizes in his last will and testament.
But the in-person ceremony has been cancelled for the second straight year due to the pandemic and replaced with a televised ceremony showing the laureates receiving their awards in their home countries.