Dec 02–04, 2009
Lifelines #2: Nuruddin Farah
Cosmopolitan, polyglot, writer between worlds
This Lifelines edition presents Nuruddin Farah, one of Africa’s leading writers. Born in 1945 in Baidoa, Somalia, Nuruddin Farah was sentenced to death in absentia for political reasons in 1976. After spending many years in exile in Africa, Europe and the USA, he now lives in Cape Town. He views himself as a world citizen forced into a nomadic life yet, despite the boundaries he has crossed, his work remains focused on Somalia, his politically fragmented homeland. His diverse oeuvre tells the world stories about Somalia and Somalia stories about the world. Farah’s writing always explores pressing social issues in powerful prose, fantasies and narratives, motivated by profound insights which, in a masterful and inspiring way, gradually reveal themselves between the worlds and the texts. As a global thinker in a post-modern world, he addresses controversial and painful topics.
Farah has written numerous novels and plays, including the trilogies “Variations on the Theme of an African Dictatorship” and “Blood in the Sun”. His works have been translated into 17 languages. “Knots”, his latest novel, is due out in German in November. Nuruddin Farah has received many international awards for his works including the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature.