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Abdulrazak Gurnah Wins 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature

The 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature has been awarded to Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah "for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents." The Zanzibar-born writer, who is based in the UK, is best known for his novels "Paradise" (1994), "Desertion" (2005) and "By the Sea" (2001). The prize comes with a gold medal and 10 million Swedish kronor (over $1.14 million; €980,000).

Favorites to win the honor this year, according to British bookmakers, included Kenya's Ngugi wa Thiong'o, French writer Annie Ernaux, Japanese author Haruki Murakami, Canada's Margaret Atwood and Antiguan-American writer Jamaica Kincaid.

Last year's literature prize went to American poet Louise Gluck for what the judges described as her "unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.''

In 2019, the prize was awarded to Austrian writer Peter Handke, a controversial choice that led to protests because of his strong support of the Serbs during the Balkan wars in the 1990s.

While the Nobel literature prize recognizes one individual for their outstanding literary contribution, the Nobel science prizes typically honor two or three laureates, particularly if they have conducted joint research.

Earlier in the week, the Stockholm-based Nobel Committee named the winners in the categories of medicine, physics and chemistry. The prizes for outstanding work in the fields of economics and peace are yet to be announced.

The awards are traditionally presented on December 10, the anniversary of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel's death.

Source: DW

Story first published: Thursday, October 7, 2021, 21:55 [IST]