Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah wins 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature

2021-10-07 16:25:59
Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah wins 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature

Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah won the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature on Thursday for his writings about the effects of European colonialism in Africa.

Gurnah, 72, is the first African writer to win the award since the Zimbabwean Doris Lessing in 2007, and only the second writer from sub-Saharan Africa, after Nigeria's Wole Soyinka, who won in 1986.

His novels include "Paradise", which is set in colonial East Africa during the First World War and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction, and "Desertion".

Gurnah grew up in Zanzibar and left Tanzania as a refugee in the 1960s when the peaceful liberation from British colonial rule led to a revolution.

He was only able to return to Zanzibar in 1984, allowing him to see his father shortly before his death.

The prize is awarded by the Swedish Academy and is worth 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.14 million). The prizes are awarded for achievements in science, literature, economics and peace.

He initially studied at Christ Church College, Canterbury, whose degrees were at the time awarded by the University of London. He then moved to the University of Kent, where he earned his PhD in 1982 and is currently a professor there.

From 1980 to 1983, Gurnah lectured at the Bayero University Kano in Nigeria.

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