Tanzanian author Abdulrazak Gurnah has won the 2021 Nobel Prize in literature.
The prestigious prize was awarded on Thursday by the Swedish Academy, which cited Gurnah’s “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee”.
Gurnah, who grew up on one of the islands of Zanzibar and arrived in England as a refugee in the 1960s, has published 10 novels as well as a number of short stories.
He is a professor at the University of Kent. His 1994 novel “Paradise,” which told the story of a boy growing up in Tanzania in the early 20th century, won the Booker Prize and marked his breakthrough as a novelist.
Anders Olsson, chair of the Nobel committee, said that the Tanzanian writer’s novels, from his debut Memory of Departure, about a failed uprising, to his most recent, the “magnificent”, Afterlives, “recoil from stereotypical descriptions and open our gaze to a culturally diversified East Africa unfamiliar to many in other parts of the world”.
The prestigious award comes with a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.14m).