Abdulrazak Gurnah wins the 2021 Nobel prize in literature

By Muhammed Shahed Rahman :

On 7 October Swedish Academy announced Tanzania’s novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah has won the 2021 Nobel prize in literature.

Abdulrazak Gurnah was named the 116th author to win the Nobel Prize in Literature. He will receive one million Swedish kronor. Gurnah, 63, has written 10 novels. ‘Paradise’ is one of them. The novel was published in 1994. The novel skilfully tells the story of a teenage girl growing up in Tanzania in the early 20th century.

According to the Swedish Academy, he was recognised for his uncompromising writings on the effects of colonialism. He has published 10 novels as well as a number of short stories. His novels include 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 Prize.

Abdulrazak Gurnah was born in 1947 in Tanzania. He grew up on the island of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean. He later became a refugee in England in the late 1970’s.

Zanzibar was liberated from British colonial rule in 1963. But at that time oppression and genocide against Arab descent began in that country. As a result, Abdulrazak and his family had to flee the country. He could not return to his homeland until 1984.

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