Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (7 October) on the decision by the Nobel Committee to award the Nobel Prize for Literature to Abdulrazak Gurnah:
With Tanzanian writer Abdulrazak Gurnah, not only is an important voice of post-colonialism being honoured, but he is also the first African laureate in this category in almost two decades. In his novels and short stories, Gurnah addresses the history of colonialism and its impacts on Africa, which continue to make themselves felt today – including the role played by German colonial rulers. He speaks out clearly against prejudice and racism and draws our attention to the rarely voluntary but never-ending journey of those who strike out for another world. I would like to offer Abdulrazak Gurnah my most sincere congratulations on winning the Nobel Prize for Literature – his award shows how necessary a lively and broad-based discussion of our colonial heritage continues to be.