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Abdulrazak Gurnah
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    (December 20, 1948- )
    Born in Zanzibar, Tanzania
    Wrote the novels 'Memory of Departure' (1987), 'Paradise' (1994), 'Admiring Silence' (1996), 'By the Sea' (2001), 'Desertion' (2005), 'The Last Gift' (2011), 'Gravel Heart' (2017), and 'Afterlives' (2020)
    Won the Nobel Prize in Literature (2021)
    His books have been described as 'bleak and uncompromising.'
    Asked by an interviewer if he considered himself an author of post-colonial literature or world literature, he replied, 'I wouldn't call myself a something writer of any kind.' (No word on how he reacted when the chair of the Nobel Committee called him 'one of the world's most prominent post-colonial writers.')
    His first reaction on hearing he had won the Nobel Prize: 'I thought it was a prank.'
    He left Zanzibar at age 18 to escape anti-Arab violence after the revolution that overthrew the sultanate.
    He was unable to return until 1984, just in time for a last visit with his dying father.
    Although his first language is Swahili, he writes in English.
    He was a judge for the Booker Prize (2016).

Credit: C. Fishel

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