Abdulrazak Gurnah: A Nobel Laureate of 2021 (GS Paper 1: Art and Culture )

Abdulrazak Gurnah: A Nobel Laureate of 2021 (GS Paper 1: Art and Culture )


Abdulrazak Gurnah a novelist and academic who has won the nobel prize of 2021. In all his work, Gurnah has striven to avoid the ubiquitous nostalgia for a more pristine pre-colonial Africa. His explanation about colonialism and imperialism is unique and commendable . In his work he explained the effect of colonialism and the impact of the penetration of and strange culture into africa and how this colonialism would be infuencible for the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents.

About Abdulrazak Gurnah

  • On the island of Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean, this great novelist was born and grew up . He was born in 1948 and resided here in Zanzibar up to 1960. At he end of 1960 he had arrived  in England as a refugee

  • Zanzibar became liberated from the British in December 1963After the peaceful protest but suddenly after its liberation  it went through a revolution , a type of civil war which was oppressed brutally by President Abeid Karume’s regime. The government persecuted citizens of Arab origin; massacred them. 

  • Gurnah was also a victim of this incident and he was forced to leave his family and flee the newly formed Republic of Tanzania. Therefore He had experienced the pathetic conditions of the refugee  He returned to Zanzibar in  1984 and fortunately he could meet his father before the father’s death. 

  • Gurnah has been the Professor of English and Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Kent in Canterbury. 

  • His main work on literature is to  focus on the impact of colonialism on refugees . His work is influenced by writers such as Wole Soyinka , Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and Salman Rushdie.

  • Ten novels  and many  short stories of Gurnah have been published . 

  • When He was residing in England as a refugee , he started writing from that time . In the beginning of his career , he used Swahili language. Gradually he started his writings in English 

  • The Arabian Nights was the important source for his writings . The Arabian Nights explains about the golden age of the Isma. In fact, The Arabian Nights is the collection of thousands of folks . But in his work of English we see the impact of the language and emotions of many legendary nobelist of english language from  the Shakespeare to  V.S Naipal

  • Desertion (2005) , a novel of Gurnah expresses the story of a conventionally European hero who returns home from romantic escapades abroad . 

  • Memory of Departure was the debut novel of Gurnah. In this novel a story of a young man who is resident on the East African coast . He had to face the oppressive rule of the totalitarian regime. In this novel  travails of this young man is very well expressed 

  • Paradise is another important novel which was shortlisted for the 1994 Booker Prize.

  •  In this novel Guruah tried to reflect the picture  of a 12 years old boy Yusuf who is forced into indentured servitude in East Africa in the years leading up to World War I.

Definitely , The Nobel prize is the most prestigious prize of the world and  Gurunha , swork is fit for that prize. He had not only shown the pathetic conditions of the refugees but also expressed that colonialism and totalitarian rule are responsible for such migrations throughout the entire world . 

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