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Event 44

NOBEL ENCHANTMENTS: ABDULRAZAK GURNAH

Of 2021 Nobel Prize-winning writer Abdulrazak Gurnah’s book By the Sea, The Times said, “Rarely in a lifetime can you open a book and find that reading it encapsulates the enchanting qualities of a love affair... one scarcely dares breathe while reading it for fear of breaking the enchantment.” It’s a sentiment that could be applied across all his fiction and essays, including Booker-shortlisted Paradise and most recent novel Afterlives. Born in Zanzibar, which is now part of Tanzania, Gurnah arrived in Britain as a refugee in 1967 and has said of his home country, “In my mind, I live there.” Professor Emeritus of English and Post Colonial Literatures at the University of Kent, and the first black writer to receive the Nobel since Toni Morrison in 1993, his citation states that his win is due to “his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fates of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents.” He joins Michelle Langstone in conversation to reflect on a life’s work.

Supported by Platinum Bold Patrons Betsy & Michael Benjamin.

Livestream in venue.

Fri, 26 Aug 2022

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