Novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah is awarded Nobel prize

Novelist Abdulrazak Gurnah has been named the winner of this year's Nobel Literature Prize.

Gurnah was born in 1948 and grew up on the island of Zanzibar, off the coast of east Africa. He arrived in Britain as a refugee in the late 1960s.

He began writing at the age of 21. Although Swahili was his first language, he wrote in English.

He has published ten novels and a number of short stories, and the theme of the refugee's disruption runs throughout his work. Gurnah was a professor of postcolonial literatures at the University of Kent in Canterbury until his recent retirement.

The Swedish Academy praised Gurnah for his "uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fate of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents."