Tanzanian novelist, Abdulrazak Gurnah has been awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature, it was announced on Thursday. According to BBC, the Academy praised Gurnah for for his "uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents."
The prize is awarded by the Swedish Academy and is worth 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.14 million).
Born in Zanzibar in 1948, Gurnah arrived in England as a refugee in the late 1960s. "He is the author of 10 novels and several short stories," BBC added. "He was Professor of English and Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Kent, Canterbury, until his recent retirement," the read part of the story published on the BBC website.
Who is Abdulrazak Gurnah?
According to various sources, Abdulrazak Gurnah was born on the 20 of December 1948 on the island of Zanzibar and went to Britain as a student in 1968 and studied at Christ Church College, Canterbury, whose degrees were at the time awarded by the University of London. According to Wikipedia, he then moved to the University of Kent, where he earned his PhD in 1982.
From 1980 to 1982, Gurnah lectured at the Bayero University Kano in Nigeria. He is now a Professor and Director of Graduate studies at the University of Kent within the Department of English. His main academic interest is in postcolonial writing and in discourses associated with colonialism, especially as they relate to Africa, the Caribbean and India.
He has edited two volumes of Essays on African Writing, has published articles on a number of contemporary postcolonial writers, including V. S. Naipaul, Salman Rushdie and Zoe Wicomb. He is the editor of A Companion to Salman Rushdie (Cambridge University Press, 2007). He has served as a contributing editor to Wasafiri magazine since 1987.
Gurnah has supervised research projects on the writing of Rushdie, Naipaul, G. V. Desani, Anthony Burgess, Joseph Conrad, George Lamming and Jamaica Kincaid. On 7 October 2021, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2021 "for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fates of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents."
The most famous of his novels are Paradise (1994), which was shortlisted for both the Booker and the Whitbread Prize, Desertion (2005), and By the Sea (2001), which was longlisted for the Booker and shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Award.