Posted on October 12, 2021 at 1:07 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Ugandan novelist Kakwenza Rukirabashaija has been chosen as this year’s International Writer of Courage.

The award goes to a writer whom the PEN Pinter Prize — this year, Tsitsi Dangarembga — believes has been persecuted for speaking out about their beliefs.

For Rukirabashaija, that persecution came in the form of multiple detentions, torture, and continued harassment from the Ugandan government.

His novel The Greedy Barbarian, which focused on high-level corruption in a fictional country, first drew attention from authorities; his subsequent book, Banana Republic: Where Writing is Treasonous, described the torture he endured and kept their focus on him.

Rukirabashaija thanked his fellow novelist for honoring him with the award and expressed gratitude at PEN, an organization which fights for freedom of expression, for its advocacy on his behalf.

The Bookseller has a summary of the years of abuse that Rukirabashaija has undergone.

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