Abdulrazak Gurnah

This handout photograph released by the University of Kent on October 7, 2021 shows Abdulrazak Gurnah, the Zanzibar-born author awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, teaching students at the University of Kent on May 19, 2016. 

| File | AFP

Gurna’s Nobel will inspire younger African writers

What you need to know:

  • Abdulrazak Gurnah effortlessly addresses the issues of political asylum, marginalisation and integration.
  • His earliest fictions also addressed the unpalatable issues of same-gender sex in a society he came from.

This year’s Nobel Prize for Literature went to Abdulrazak Gurnah, 73-year-old writer and academic, born in Zanzibar and currently residing in England. This choice took many literature aficionados by surprise, including serious scholars of literature from both Britain and outside. This is completely understandable, given that the last time any African won the Nobel was decades ago with few, and far between.


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