Early last month, the Swedish Academy announced that Abdulrazak Gurnah was the recipient of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature. Gurnah was awarded for his “uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents.”
Soon after the announcement of Gurnah as the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, many people became interested in his works. Although Gurnah has ten titles written in the English language, his work has never been readily available in the United States. However, the recent interest in Gurnah’s work comes with no surprise, with six American publishers bidding for the rights to his most recent novel, Afterlives.
According to LitHub, Gurnah’s agent has sold foreign rights in 30 territories. Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Group, won the rights to three of Gurnah’s novels: Afterlives, By the Sea, and Desertion. Afterlives, “a sweeping, multi-generational saga of displacement, loss, and love, as the fates of three people—a young man kidnapped into military service, another sold into it, and the sister he left behind—play out against the brutal colonization of East Africa,” will be available on August 23, 2023.
Let’s hope that more books by Gurnah will be more accessible in the future because I’m personally excited to read his novels.
If you’re interested in more about Gurnah, check out my article on Abdulrazak Gurnah!