2021 Noble Prize Winner in Literature: Abdulrazak Guranah

Abdulrazak Gurnah

Abdulrazak Gurnah is one of the recent legends of the word. He won Noble in 2021 for his outstanding work in literature. The title of his Noble prize winner literature was;

“uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents.”

History of Abdulrazak Gurnah

According to researchers of a coursework writing service, Abdulrazak Gurnah was born in 1948 and grew up on the island of Zanzibar. Zanzibar is a part of the Indian Ocean. Abdulrazak arrived in England at the end of 1963 as a refugee. At that time, Gurnah was 18 years old. The descendant of Arabs minorities started abusing the Gurnah family. He belonged to the victimised ethnic group in Zanzibar. Hence, after completing his early education, Gurnah succeeded in his escape from Zanzibar. So, in 1963, under his family’s pressure, Gurnah fled to the Republic of Tanzania.

Till 1984, Abdulrazak never visited Zanzibar. However, he came back to Zanzibar shortly after the death of his father in 1984.

At the University of Kent in Canterbury Abdulrazak, Gurnah was an English professor. He was not only a professor of English, but his achievements in Post-colonial literature are also prominent. He focused on a writer like:
  • Wole Soyinka
  • Salman Rushdie
  • Thiong’o
  • Ngũgĩ wa

Contributions of Gurnah

Gurnah has published ten novels and a series of short stories (1987). The object of harassing refugees runs through his entire work. He started writing in English at the age of 21 in exile.

Swahili was his first language, but it became his literary medium. He said Zanzibar is almost impossible to read in Swahili, and his first work could not consider as hard literature. Quran verses and Persian poetry were early sources of motivation for him.

English tradition, from Shakespeare to W. Naipaulin, would welcome his work.

But, he must emphasise the view that he had broken the convention. And, people treated him as a native of the colony.

During his stay abroad, he wrote an article to solve the issue of trauma dislocation. In this article, Gurnah discussed few rules to cope with the trauma dislocation.

Gurnah wrote a novel, Memory of Departure was another reflection of the difficulties he faced during exile abroad. The memory of departure is a story of a young man who takes refuge at the coast of South Africa. The reason behind the escape of the young man was the violence of the regime. Hence, this novel has many things in common with Gurnah’s story.

Another novel of Gurnah was ‘Paradise’.’ In 1994, the Booker prize-nominated the novel ‘Paradise’ for their prize distribution ceremony. Paradise was a short story of a 12 years old boy. The central character of this story, a young boy ‘Yusuf’, was an ‘indentured servant’ in East Africa till World War 1, and Guranh wrote on the behalf of Yusuf.

The literature Gurnah wrote was a reflection of the difficulties he faced during his refugee. The pain he took as a refugee and the problems he copes with make his writing style impressive.

Achievements of Abdulrazak Gurnah

In an interview, Gurnah said the pain he felt in thinking his history of leaving his home town made him a good writer. He said to Alex Marshall and Alexandra Alter that he felt he had no place in the world. As a result, the minor characters of Gurnah’s story have imagination history. This strong imagination brings life to the Gurnah’s characters.

Gurnah said most of his stories was in the context of war. But, he added he didn’t want to the ugly nature of war. The purpose of his is not only to show how lousy colonialism is. He continued that he wanted to tell people how war affects the people. According to him, the people in war faces real existence challenges.

Research by a coursework help firm shows that the European public thinks, Abdulrazak Gurnah is a success of the Swedish Academy. Gurnah was the first black Noble Prize winner. Swedish Academy was before known for racism. In the past, this academy favoured only European and White writers. But, the success of Gurnah among many European writers was a big step forward. Gurnah won the Nobel Prize for his literature in 2021. Before Gurnah, in 1986, a black African writer Wole Soyinka won the award for his creative writing.

After giving Noble prize to Gurnah, Ander Olsson appreciated him. He said that Gurnah has his place in the world of Post-colonial writers. Olsson further added that the reason behind the extraordinary writing skills of Gurnah was that he belonged to Zanzibar. He said that Zanzibar was an extended cosmopolitan area before global civilisation.

A professor, Peter Morey, called Gurnah a fearless writer. He said the reason behind the global success of Gurnah is his clear cut understanding. His understanding of the relations between people and their places is straightforward. He knows very well the process behind the partitions. He understands how people create boundaries to separate individuals. He admired the concept of boundary specific speciation among people. He was close to nature and could felt the pain of people in the battles. He also acknowledges people who lead their whole life in slavery.

Before, Gurnah many people won the Noble Prize. The name of few Nobel prize winners are;
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • Toni Morrison
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Pablo Neruda
  • Joseph Brodsky
  • Harold Pinter
  • Eugene O’Neill
  • Rabindranath Tagore

Most of the past writers won Noble prize for;
  • Fictions
  • History
  • Journalism
  • Biography
  • Essay
  • Philosophy
  • Poetry
  • Memoirs
  • Lyrics

But, Gurnah won the prize for his endless situation describing skills. He was known for his fearless colonialism understanding. The 2021 Nobel Prize Award only gave monetary benefits to the Gurnah. But it also adds Gurnah’s name to the world’s most famous writers list. The sales of Gurnah’s book increases too much after the Noble Prize Distribution Ceremony, 2021.

So, we can say that Abdulrazak Gurnah did not fascinate his readers from fiction. But, the art of giving life to colonialism fascinates people, and ultimately he won Nobel Prize in 2021.
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