In October, it was announced that Abdul Razak Kurna had won the Nobel Prize for Literature for 2021. The Tanzanian author is unknown to many, but many have now opened their eyes to his books depicting the alienation of refugees and their experiences of encountering new cultures and continents. . One of the world’s biggest names in literature, Norway was one of the first visitors to win the recent Nobel Prize.
– We are very proud that Norway is one of the first countries to visit Kourna after being awarded the Nobel Prize, and we look forward to meeting his Norwegian readers, says Katherine Bake Bolin, Publishing Manager at Gilden.
Kurna is coming to Norway for the Norwegian Literary Festival in Lillyhammer in May next year. The festival is the largest in the Nordic region, with over 300 events, 400 artists and an extensive audience of over 30,000.
– Although many of his books have been translated into Norwegian and published by Ashhok in the 1990s, not many Norwegian readers knew the author before the Nobel Prize. “I’m one of those who opened their eyes to this important and impressive creativity, and we look forward to seeing Lillyhammer in May,” says Marit Borghenhagen, festival director of the Norwegian Literary Festival for Dogplate.
The Swedish Academy’s justification states that Kourna received the award for her writing on colonialism. Kurna came to England in 1968 as a refugee from Zanzibar. The personal experiences of the 73-year-old refugee are reflected in his writing.
– Uncompromisingly and with great compassion, he drew attention to the effects of colonialism and the fate of refugees at the crossroads between cultures and continents, said writer Mates Malm when announcing the winner.
Due to a corona infection, Kunra will not be able to travel to Stockholm to receive the award in December.
– He will be called to Stockholm later, Malm said.
Many waited patiently for a gift to be given to an African writer. Helge Ronin, a professor at the University of Oslo, has authored and edited several books on African culture and society. He was surprised by the committee’s decision.
– I wonder, there are probably many. It did not surprise me that he was African, but he was one of the African options. One reason for this is that he is not considered a one hundred percent African writer, Ronnie told Dagblatt.
“Paradise” was a major turning point in Abdul Razzaq Qurna’s and was nominated for the 1994 Booker Prize. Inger Bendsrut, a literary critic of Dockbladet Reviewed the book after the Nobel Prize.
“This year’s Nobel Laureate in Literature, Abdul Razzaq Kurna, takes readers on a journey of mythology and superstition into colonized East Africa. Abdul Razzaq Kurna has written ten novels, three of which have so far been translated into Norwegian.”
But gaining deeper insight is easier said than done. Abdul Razak Kurna has not been in Norwegian printing presses for many years. When he won the Nobel Prize, his books were not found, and 250 people were on the waiting list to borrow his books from Teachman. Also, the publishing industry was affected by one Paper crisis and delays due to infection.
– This is an exciting factor now, but no crisis. Oshog Nora Campbell’s publishing director said that maybe Kurna was lurking in the line of printing.
Gildentel, who is today the Norwegian publisher of Kunra, reports that many of the author’s works have now been printed and shipped on store shelves. Also, work on translating his latest book “Afterlives” is underway from 2020, and will be published in Norwegian in May 2022.
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