Nobel Literature Prize 2021: Abdulrazak Gurnah receives the award |

For the Committee of the Nobel Prize for Literature, it is clear that Abdulrazak Gurnah has described the effects of the colonial era and the fate of the refugees “between cultures and continents” “uncompromisingly and sensitively” for decades. The Zanzibar-born author, on the other hand, does not see himself as a post-colonial author, nor would he even count himself among world literature.

Hopefully he is happy that he was obviously mistaken on this point.

Two of his works have been translated into German: “Das verlorene Paradies” (1986) and “Die Abtrünnigen” (2006).

German-speaking Nobel Prize for Literature

Recent Nobel Prize for Literature

2020: Louise Glück
2019: Peter Handke
2018: Olga Tokarczuk (retrospectively 2019)
2017: Kazuo Ishiguro
2016: Bob Dylan
2015: Svetlana Alexievich
2014: Patrick Modiano
2013: Alice Munro
2012: Mo Yan
2011: Tomas Tranströmer
2010: Mario Vargas Llosa
2009: Herta Müller
2008: JMG Le Clézio
2007: Doris Lessing
2006: Orhan Pamuk
2005: Harold Pinter
2004: Elfriede Jelinek
2003: J.M. Coetzee
2002: Imre Kertész
2001: VS Naipaul
2000: Gao Xingjian

Unlike the Nobel Prize for Science, which is awarded for a single outstanding achievement, the Nobel Prize for Literature honors the entire work of a writer. The selection should not be easy for the 18-member jury. Alfred Nobel’s stipulation that the prize should be awarded to an “ideally outstanding work” leaves some room for interpretation.

Nevertheless, the Literature Prize is considered the most important of all Nobel Prizes. And: Hardly any award winner had to share it with anyone else. However, there were four winners: 1904, 1917, 1966 and 1974.

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