Meet the author: Abdulrazak Gurnah, Nobel Prize Winner Literature 2021

Mon 08.04.2024
20:00 - 22:00
Autfoto Gurnah Abdulrazak copie


meet the author, interview


pay what you can €15 | 10 | 8 | 2

practical information

the full programme of this evening, with a dash of brussels, will be announced later.


in english

Meet the author

The meetings with writers at Passa Porta, prepared with passion, courage and thoroughness, are more than simply the presentation of literary works. We seek to achieve a genuine connection between writer and reader, and among readers themselves.

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After Annie Ernaux in March 2023, La Monnaie and international house of literature Passa Porta are delighted to welcome another Nobel Prize Winner in Literature, Abdulrazak Gurnah, on 8 April 2024. In novels such as Paradise, Afterlives and By the Sea, the versatile Tanzanian author managed to give a voice to all those who have been neglected by history, from colonial Africa to 1960s London.

The year 2024 marks the 20th anniversary of international house of literature Passa Porta. The return of Abdulrazak Gurnah, a guest of Passa Porta in its early years, will be one of the highlights of this anniversary year.

Abdulrazak Gurnah was born in 1948 in Zanzibar, Tanzania. In 1967 he fled to the UK, where he taught English and postcolonial literature at the University of Kent. His impressive and widely acclaimed oeuvre consists of essays, short stories and novels. Notable works include Paradise (1994), By the Sea (2001) and Desertion (2005). His latest novel, Afterlives (2020), is a work of historical fiction. In his work, he describes the events in his homeland and the difficulties he encountered when he arrived in English while dealing with themes such as uprootedness, migration and colonialism.

When awarding him the highest literary distinction, the Nobel Prize Committee called him ‘one of the world’s most prominent postcolonial writers. He has explored, in a penetrating manner and with great compassion, the consequences of colonialism in East Africa and its effects on the lives of uprooted and migrating people’.

La thématique de son œuvre est en connexion évidente avec la création de l’opéra Ali, qui conte l’histoire vraie d’un garçon qui, à douze ans, s’est aventuré sur la dangereuse route migratoire vers l’Europe.

Part of the proceeds of this evening will go to ICORN, a network of more than seventy cities around the world, including Brussels, that offer shelter to writers at risk.

Organized by La Monnaie, the international house of literature Passa Porta and KVS in collaboration with Meulenhoff.

Foto © Mark Pringle

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