Nobel Prize: who is Abdulrazak Gurnah, the first black African author to win the award in Literature in more than 30 years

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Although some of his novels have been published in Spanish, Abdulrazak Gurnah, the African writer awarded this Thursday with the Nobel Prize for Literature, it is still unknown to many in Latin America.

The novelist, born on the semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar, is the author of ten novels and since he was 18 years old he has lived in the United Kingdom, where he arrived as a refugee, a theme that has been frequent in his work.

In fact, the Nobel Committee justified the award on the “uncompromising and compassionate insight” into its books of “the effects of colonialism and the fate of refugees in the gap between cultures and continents.”

Gurnah is the first black African author to win the award since Wole Soyinka in 1986. Speaking after receiving the news, he said it was a “complete surprise” and considered that his award could mean that issues such as the refugee crisis and colonialism will now be “discussed.” “These are things that are with us every day. People are dying, people are being hurt all over the world; we must address these issues in the kindest way,” he said.


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