Posted on October 7, 2021 at 7:54 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

History was made with today’s announcement of the Nobel Prize for Literature recipient.

Novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah has become Tanzania’s first literature winner; he was born in Zanzibar, now part of Tanzania, and moved to England as a teenager. 

(And, as the Guardian notes, he’s the first Black African winner since 1986's Wole Soyinka).

Nobel judges praised Gurnah for his “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents.”

Among his ten novels are Paradise, the story of an adolescent boy sold to repay his father’s debts, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize; and the more recent Afterlives, also following a displaced youth but one who was seized by colonial troops and enlisted in conflicts against his own people.

Gurnah will receive £840,000 (over $1.1 million) in addition to the recognition — long overdue, according to his longtime editor — of being a Nobel Prize winner.

You can read more coverage of Gurnah, his career, and this latest accomplishment in the New York Times and NPR.

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Categories: Today in Books

Tagged As: Awards, The Guardian

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