Abdulrazak Gurnah wins the Nobel Prize for Literature 2021

Abdulrazak Gurnah is an England-based professor at the University of Kent. He was born in Zanzibar.

 Abdulrazak Gurnah

Abdulrazak Gurnah


The Nobel Prize for Literature 2021 has been awarded to the Tanzanian writer Abdulrazak Gurnah. He has published over 10 novels and a bunch of short stories. 

The Nobel Prize comes with a medal and a prize sum of 10 million Swedish kronor (about 980,000 euros, $1.1 million). Ahead of the announcement, the watchers were requested to choose a writer from Asia or Africa to make the prize more diverse. 

One of his best-known works is his 1994 novel ‘Paradise’ which is set during the First World War in colonial East Africa. The book was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction

Gurnah grew up on the island of Zanzibar and later came to England as a refugee in the 1960s. He later took up a job as a Professor at Kent University in England itself. 

The Swedish Academy said that he was honored for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents. 

Gurnah began writing when he was 21 and even though his first language was Swahili, he made good use of English in his writing. 

The ceremony took place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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