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Abdulrazak Gurnah Joins Olga Tokarczuk and Kazuo Ishiguro in Pantheon of Winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2021 has been awarded to the novelist Abdulrazak 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”. He follows fellow RCW authors Kazuo Ishiguro and Olga Tokarczuk who are the recipients of the 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature and 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature respectively. 

Abdulrazak Gurnah, who grew up on one of the islands of Zanzibar and arrived in England as a refugee in the 1960s, has published ten novels as well as a number of short stories. Anders Olsson, chair of the Nobel committee, said that the Tanzanian writer’s novels, from his debut Memory of Departure, about a failed uprising, to his most recent, the “magnificent”, Afterlives, “recoil from stereotypical descriptions and open our gaze to a culturally diversified East Africa unfamiliar to many in other parts of the world”.

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