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Pan African Writers Association to host international literature conference in Uganda

Professor Abdulrazak Gurnah stands with a fan holding a Kiswahili translation of "Paradise". Image from Twitter/@RAbdiAnalyst

The Pan-African Writers Association (PAWA) in collaboration with FEMRITE Uganda Women Writers Association and Makerere University with the support of the Swedish Embassy, will host an International Literature Conference at the Makerere University, Uganda between 23rd to 25th March 2023, wnn.africa reported.

The announcement was made when PAWA joined the world to celebrate International African Writers Day which was on the 7th of November 2022. It is said the event will be dedicated to the celebration of the works of Tanzanian-born Nobel Laureate and cultural activist Prof Abdurazak Gurnah, the fifth Black writer to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature. Over 300 top African Writers and other literary dignitaries, from within and outside Africa are expected to grace the conference, with Professor Gurnah being the Guest of Honor.

“His story of dislocation at a young age is a story of many African young people, a story of then and a story of today.” _PAWA

Abdulrazak Gurnah’s Paradise. Image from Twitter/@RAbdiAnalyst

Some of his notable works include Paradise (1994), shortlisted for the Booker Prize and Whitbread Prize, Desertion (2005) and By the Sea (2001) longlisted for the Booker and shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

An Emeritus Professor of English and Postcolonial Literature at the University of Kent, Abdulrazak Gurnah has authored many short stories, essays, and 10 novels. He was born in 1948 in Zanzibar, Tanzania, and later relocated to the United Kingdom in the 1960s during the Zanzibar revolution.

The citation for his Award stated that it was “for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fates of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents.”

“The Nobel Prize which started in 1901 has so far been awarded to 954 individuals of whom only 17 were blacks – only 1.7%. It is therefore in order that we take this opportunity to celebrate Nobel Laureate Prof Abdurazak Gurnah, the recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2021. Gurnah joins previous torch bearers of African descent, lighting the future of African literature on the world stage”, read the press statement.

The event will include keynote lectures, paper presentations, panel discussions, book launches, and exhibitions as well as, other cultural activities.

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Modester Kamupinda