Abdulrazak Gurnah, Nobel Literature Prize for his Interest in Colonialism and Refugee Fate

Abdulrazak Gurnah has received the Nobel Prize for Literature 2021. Gurnah is the seventh African writer who enters the Award palmarés: Wole Soyinka, Naguib Mah

Abdulrazak Gurnah, Nobel Literature Prize for his Interest in Colonialism and Refugee Fate

Abdulrazak Gurnah has received the Nobel Prize for Literature 2021. Gurnah is the seventh African writer who enters the Award palmarés: Wole Soyinka, Naguib Mahfouz, W.M. Coetzee, Nadine Gordimer, in addition to the Frenchman Albert Camus and the English Doris Lessing (born and raised in Algeria and Zimbabwe, respectively), preceded him.

"It's a wonderful prize, full of big authors. I'm still trying to get to the idea," the writer told the Reuters agency. "It has been such an absolute surprise that I had to wait to hear the announcement of the jury to be able to believe it."

Abdulrazak Gurnah was born in 1948 in Zanzibar (Tanzania), and resides in the United Kingdom. There are two GURNAH books published in Spanish: paradise (the Aleph, 1997), the most celebrated, is an initiation story in which Yussuf, an African child, is constructed to himself in relation to the injustice of European colonialism and with The conflict between Muslims and chrysitians in the east of the continent. The novel is described as a saga, as an almost adventure story that for European readers has well-known forms: Isak Dinesen and William Boyd were the comparisons used. What cammbiaba was the landscape. But, under the appearance, there were more layers: the history of Yusuf goes parallel to Muhammad's life. And Europeans are a ghostly presence, which conditions their trip but never to appear.

"Gurnah is a very good Nobel, a high-height intellectual and is also accessible. Write in English with a voice that could be assimilated to that of any Briton. Write more as a Kent teacher as someone who comes from a site Far. His novels are very enjoyable, "explains Juan José Martín González, doctor in English literature and professor at the University of Málaga.

The other title published in Spanish, on the shore (Polyhedro, 2001), is a book closest to the contemporary world. His protagonist was a man who arrived from an Indian Ocean Island to Gattwick, with a simple suitcase in which there was nothing more than incense. In London he would have crossed with another emigrant who was important in his past and that he will shape his experience of migration. It is that issue that connects with the argument of the jury, which has related the prize with "its intransigent and compassionate penetration in the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the abyss between cultures and continents."

"The interesting thing about the shore is that it shows the refugee in all the complexity of the stories it takes. Stories that can be centuries and come from Asia or from the Caribbean ... A key in the books of Gurnah is that it shows The cosmopolitan tradition of Africa. The portrait world is not locked in itself but is full of people who come from the Middle East, from India, from Europe ... this is also religion, which is a matter that usually treats " , explains Martín González.

Afterlives, his last novel (published in English in 2020), returns to the field of the historic novel in East Africa. Here, the story revolves on the life of an African captured by the Schutzrupe Askari, the German colonial troops in Africa, which over the years, is reunited with the family of it.

More references to put Gurnah on the map: In 2007, the new Nobel wrote The Cambridge Companion to Salman Rushdie, an essay on the world's author of midnight. The conclusion, when considering the reviews of the trial, is that Gurnah recognizes himself as a relative of Rushdie, a writer who knows Western culture and takes her to her landscape in order to explain what, in the eyes of the readers Europeans, it seems chaos.

Of the 117 awarded since this prize was established, 95 had been European or North American, that is, 80% of the total. Among them, there have been 101 men and only 16 women. Chinese novelist Mo Yan had been the latest no European or American award, in 2012.

After the scandal of sexual harassment and power struggle within the Swedish Academy who forced the 2018 Prize to postpone, the Agency announced that it would adjust its criteria to have greater geographical and gender diversity. "Before we had a more Eurocentric perspective of literature, we are now looking at everyone," said the Chief of the Nobel Committee, Anders Olsson.

Two women have been laureated in the three previous editions, the Polish novelist Olga Tokarczuk in 2018, granted with a year of delay, and the American poet Louise Glück, in 2020. In 2019, the prize was for the Austrian Peter Handke, an option Controversy for his support to the SERBIO SLOBODAN MILOSEVIC, who faced charges for genocide when he died in 2006. The Academy insists that its laureates are chosen by their literary merits and that does not take into account nationality.

Updated Date: 07 October 2021, 08:39

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