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Nobel Prize in Literature 2021

Tanzania’s novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah won the 2021 Nobel Prize in literature for his works exploring the effects of colonialism and the experiences of refugees.

  • The Zanzibar-born writer, who is based in the UK, is best known for his novels "Paradise" (1994), "Desertion" (2005) and "By the Sea" (2001).
  • Gurnah’s novel ‘Paradise’ was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.
  • The American poet Louise Glück won the 2020 Nobel Prize in literature.
  • The Nobel Prize in Literature is awarded by the Swedish Academy.

Miscellaneous Facts

  • Gurnah is the fifth writer from Africa to win — joining Wole Soyinka, Naguib Mahfouz, Nadine Gordimer and J.M. Coetzee.
  • In its 120-year history, only 16 women have won the Nobel Prize in literature. Until today, the last Black person awarded the prize was Toni Morrison in 1993.
  • First Person to win Nobel in Literature: In 1901, French poet and essayist Sully Prudhomme was the first person to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
  • First Woman to win Nobel in Literature: Selma Lagerlöf from Sweden was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for literature in 1909.
  • First Indian to win Nobel in Literature: In 1913, Rabindranath Tagore won the first Nobel Prize for India in Literature.
  • India born Author to win Nobel in Literature: In 1907, Rudyard Kipling an India born (born in Bombay, British India) United Kingdom national won Nobel Prize in Literature.

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Nobel Peace Prize 2021

  • The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided to award the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 to Maria Ressa (Philippines) and Dmitry Muratov (Russia) for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.
  • Maria Ressa uses freedom of expression to expose abuse of power, use of violence and growing authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines. In 2012, she co-founded Rappler, a digital media company for investigative journalism, which she still heads. As a journalist and the Rappler’s CEO, Ressa has shown herself to be a fearless defender of freedom of expression. Rappler has focused critical attention on the Duterte regime’s controversial, murderous anti-drug campaign. The number of deaths is so high that the campaign resembles a war waged against the country’s own population. Ms Ressa and Rappler have also documented how social media is being used to spread fake news, harass opponents and manipulate public discourse.
  • Dmitry Andreyevich Muratov has for decades defended freedom of speech in Russia under increasingly challenging conditions. In 1993, he was one of the founders of the independent newspaper Novaja Gazeta. Since 1995 he has been the newspaper’s editor-in-chief for a total of 24 years. Novaja Gazeta is the most independent newspaper in Russia today, with a fundamentally critical attitude towards power. The newspaper’s fact-based journalism and professional integrity have made it an important source of information on censurable aspects of Russian society rarely mentioned by other media. Since its start-up in 1993, Novaja Gazeta has published critical articles on subjects ranging from corruption, police violence, unlawful arrests, electoral fraud and ”troll factories” to the use of Russian military forces both within and outside Russia.