Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah has said he was “surprised and “humbled” to be awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize Literature.
Gurnah was praised by the Swedish Academy for his “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism”.
The prize is awarded by the Swedish Academy and is worth 10 million Swedish crowns about $1.14 million.
The 73-year-old author of 10 novels, including Paradise and Desertion.
He expressed how grateful he was to the academy, adding: “It’s just great – its just a big prize, and such a huge list of wonderful writers – I am still taking it in.
“It was such a complete surprise that I really had to wait until I heard it announced before I could believe it.”
“Abdulrazak Gurnah’s dedication to truth and his aversion to simplification are striking,” said the Nobel Committee for Literature in a statement.
“His novels recoil from stereotypical descriptions and open our gaze to a culturally diversified East Africa unfamiliar to many in other parts of the world.”
“[His] 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.”