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Nobel Prize in Literature Awarded to Abdulrazak Gurnah

The latest Nobel Prize for literature has been awarded to Tanzania-born novelist, Abdulrazak Gurnah. Although writing for decades, often about the refugee experience, he first came to prominence when he won the Booker Prize in 1994 for his novel, Paradise, which tells the story of a boy growing up in Tanzania in the beginning of the 20th century. “Gurnah’s dedication to truth and his aversion to simplification are striking,” the Nobel Committee for Literature said in a statement. “This can make him bleak and uncompromising, at the same time as he follows the fates of individuals with great compassion and unbending commitment.” His 2001 book “By the Sea” follows a refugee living in a British seaside town. And his most recent work, “Afterlives,” picks up the narrative of “Paradise” and takes place during the German colonization of Africa. 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,” the committee said.