Zanzibar-born writer receives award for writing on colonialism and refugees
Mr. Gurnah has published 10 novels, including “Paradise”, a story set during the German colonization of Zanzibar, off the east coast of Africa. Other works include “Decision” and “By the Sea” with short stories.
Mr Gurna left Zanzibar in the midst of a violent revolution on the island. His work looks at the effects of different waves of colonialism on his homeland, which has seen Portuguese, Arab, Indian, German and British rulers, said the Swedish Academy, which presents the annual award.
“The theme of refugee’s disruption runs throughout his work,” the academy said. His “characters find themselves in the gap between cultures and continents, between one such life and one emerging life.”
The academy said that in his career spanning more than 30 years, Mr Gurnah has pioneered a colonial approach to highlight the indigenous population.
Mr. Gurnaah was not among the favorites to win the award. Last year’s winner was American poet Lewis Gluck.
Alistair McDonald [email protected] . Feather