Abdulrazak Gurnah, a Tanzanian novelist, has been named the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature for 2021, the award-giving organization announced on Thursday.
According to Reuters, Gurnah, whose novels include “Paradise” and “Desertion”, writes in English and lives in the United Kingdom.
He has published eight novels, several of them deal with the plight of refugees.
His work “Paradise,” published in 1994, won the Booker Prize and marked his debut as a novelist. It chronicled the narrative of a little child growing up in Tanzania in the early twentieth century.
In a statement, the Nobel Committee for Literature observed, “Characters find themselves in a hiatus between cultures and continents, between a life that was and a life emerging; it is an insecure state that can never be resolved.”
The Swedish Academy bestows the prize, which is worth 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.14 million).
The Nobel Prizes were established through a gift in the will of Swedish dynamite inventor and rich businessman Alfred Nobel for achievements in science, literature, and peace. They’ve been given out since 1901, with the last prize – economics – being added subsequently.
Gurnah was born in Tanzania in 1948 and migrated to England when she was a child. He has published eight novels, several of them deal with the plight of refugees.
His novel “Paradise”, published in 1994, won the Booker Prize and marked his debut as a novelist, according to the BBC. It chronicled the narrative of a boy growing up in Tanzania in the early twentieth century.
Novelists such as Ernest Hemingway, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Toni Morrison, poets such as Pablo Neruda, Joseph Brodsky, and Rabindranath Tagore, and playwrights such as Harold Pinter and Eugene O’Neill have all won the prize in the past.
However, writers have received awards for collections of work that include short fiction, history, essays, biography, and journalism. Winston Churchill was honored for his memoirs, Bertrand Russell was honored for his philosophy, and Bob Dylan was honored for his songwriting. According to Reuters, American poet Louise Gluck won the honor last year.
Aside from the prize money and status, the Nobel Literature Prize attracts a great deal of attention to the winning author, which often leads to increased book sales and the introduction of lesser-known winners to a wider international audience.
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