Agency: The Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to the Tanzanian writer Abdulrazak Gurnah for his works that explore the lingering trauma of colonialism, war and displacement. He is the first African to win the award in almost two decades.
In an interview with The Times, Gurnah, who moved to Britain at 18 as a refugee, said he “stumbled into writing,” partly as a way to cope with his sense of dislocation. He began by writing recollections of his homeland and other snippets without ever intending to publish them, but over the years, stories started to take shape. He has now written 10 novels. The most recent one, “Afterlives,” explores the generational effects of German colonialism in Tanzania, and how it divided communities.
“The thing that motivated the whole experience of writing for me was this idea of losing your place in the world,” Gurnah said. “Misery, poverty, homesickness, those kinds of things, you start to think hard and reflect on things.” Here are The Times’s reviews of his work.
Upcoming: The Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on Friday, which draws the most attention and is often considered the most prestigious of the prizes. Last year’s winner was the World Food Program, the U.N. agency that addresses hunger.