Oct 07, 2021
By Jane Brown
As Nobel Prize week continues, the literature award goes to a writer from Tanzania by the name of Abdulrazak Gurnah.
The Swedish Academy said Thursday the prize is in recognition of his “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism.”
Born in Zanzibar in 1948 and based in England, Gurnah is a professor at the University of Kent.
He left Zanzibar at age 18 as a refugee after a violent 1964 uprising in which soldiers overthrew the country’s government.
(Abdulrazak Gurnah in London in 2016. He is the fifth African writer to win the Nobel in Literature. Photo credit: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)
He is the author of 10 novels, including Paradise which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1994.
Gurnah’s first language is Swahili, but he adopted English as his literary language, with his prose often inflected with traces of Swahili, Arabic and German.
The prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature comes with a gold medal and $1.14 million.