Abdulrazak Gurnah

Facts

Abdulrazak Gurnah

© Nobel Prize Outreach. Photo: Hugh Fox

Abdulrazak Gurnah
The Nobel Prize in Literature 2021

Born: 1948

Prize motivation: “for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents”

Prize share: 1/1

Work

The theme of the refugee’s disruption runs throughout Abdulrazak Gurnah's work. He grew up on the island of Zanzibar, but in the 1960s oppression and persecution of citizens of Arab origin forced him to leave the country. Eventually he settled in England. His novels depict a culturally diversified East Africa. Gurnah’s dedication to truth and his aversion to simplification are striking. This can make him bleak and uncompromising, at the same time as he follows the fates of individuals with great compassion and unbending commitment.

To cite this section
MLA style: Abdulrazak Gurnah – Facts – 2021. NobelPrize.org. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2022. Wed. 7 Dec 2022. <https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/2021/gurnah/facts/>

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Curious about 2021 literature laureate Abdulrazak Gurnah but can’t decide which of his books to start with? Here three members of the Swedish Academy give their recommendations.