Tanzanian novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah has said it is “brilliant and wonderful” to be awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature.
The Swedish Academy praised Gurnah for for his “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism”.
The prize is awarded by the Swedish Academy and is worth 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.14m / £840,000).
Gurnah, 73, is the author of 10 novels, including Paradise and Desertion.
He said how grateful he was to the academy, adding: “It’s just great – its just a big prize, and such a huge list of wonderful writers – I am still taking it in.
“It was such a complete surprise that I really had to wait until I heard it announced before I could believe it.”
Paradise, published in 1994, told the story of a boy growing up in Tanzania in the early 20th Century and won the Booker Prize, marking his breakthrough as a novelist.
“Abdulrazak Gurnah’s dedication to truth and his aversion to simplification are striking,” the Nobel Committee for Literature said in a statement.
“His novels recoil from stereotypical descriptions and open our gaze to a culturally diversified East Africa unfamiliar to many in other parts of the world.”
“[His] characters find themselves in a hiatus between cultures and continents, between a life that was and a life emerging; it is an insecure state that can never be resolved.”