Professor Abdulrazak Gurnah

Emeritus Professor of English and Postcolonial Literatures
Professor Abdulrazak Gurnah


Professor Abdulrazak Gurnah was born in Zanzibar and is now best-known as a novelist. His fourth novel, Paradise, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1994 and he was on the judging panel for the Man Booker Prize in 2016. 

In 2021 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature for ‘his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents.’ 

His main academic interest is in postcolonial writing and in discourses associated with colonialism, especially as they relate to Africa, the Caribbean and India. He has edited two volumes of Essays on African Writing, has published articles on a number of contemporary postcolonial writers, including Naipaul, Rushdie and Zoe Wicomb. He is the editor of A Companion to Salman Rushdie (Cambridge University Press 2007).

Abdulrazak is the author of the highly acclaimed novels Memory of Departure, Pilgrims Way, Dottie, Paradise, Admiring Silence, By The Sea, Desertion, The Last Gift, and Gravel Heart. His latest book, Afterlives is published by Bloomsbury. 

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