||This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (August 2015)|
Farah in 2010 before a lecture at
Simon Fraser University.
24 November 1945
|Occupation||novelist, essayist, professor|
|Alma mater||Panjab University among many|
|Subject||nationalism, colonialism, feminism|
|Notable works||From a Crooked Rib, Maps, Gifts, Secrets|
|Notable awards||Kurt Tucholsky Prize, Lettre Ulysses Award, Neustadt International Prize for Literature, Premio Cavour, St. Malo Literature Festival Prize|
|Spouse||Chitra Muliyil (1982-present)|
|Children||Koshin (born 1983)
Abyan (born 1993)
Kaahiye (born 1995)
As a child, Farah frequented schools in Somalia and adjacent Ethiopia, attending classes in Kallafo in the Ogaden. He studied English, Arabic and Amharic. In 1963, three years after Somalia's independence, Farah was forced to flee the Ogaden following serious border conflicts. From 1966 to 1970, he pursued a degree in philosophy, literature and sociology at Panjab University in Chandigarh, India.
After releasing an early short story in his native Somali language, Farah shifted to writing in English while still attending university in India. His first novel, From a Crooked Rib (1970), told the story of a nomad girl who flees from an arranged marriage to a much older man. The novel earned him mild but international acclaim. On a tour of Europe following the publication of A Naked Needle (1976), Farah was warned that the Somali government planned to arrest him over its contents. Rather than return and face imprisonment, Farah began a self-imposed exile that would last for twenty-two years, teaching in the United States, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Sudan, India and Nigeria. In 1990, he received a grant from the German Academic Exchange Service and moved to Berlin. In 1996, he visited Somalia for the first time in more than twenty years.
Farah describes his purpose for writing as an attempt "to keep my country alive by writing about it". His trilogies of novels - "Variations on the Theme of an African Dictatorship" (1980–83) and "Blood in the Sun" (1986–99) form the core of his work. Though Variations was well received in a number of countries, Farah's reputation was cemented by his most famous novel, Maps (1986), the first part of his Blood in the Sun trilogy. Maps, which is set during the Ogaden conflict of 1977, employs the innovative technique of second-person narration for exploring questions of cultural identity in a post-independence world. He followed the novel with Gifts (1993) and Secrets (1998), both of which earned awards. His most recent trilogy comprises Links (2004), Knots (2007) and Crossbones (2011). His latest novel Hiding in Plain Sight was published in 2014.
Besides literature, Farah is an important scholar within Somali Studies. He serves on the International Advisory Board of Bildhaan: An International Journal of Somali Studies, published by Macalester College.
Farah has garnered acclaim as one of the greatest contemporary writers in the world. Having published many short stories, novels and essays, his prose has earned him, among other accolades, the Premio Cavour in Italy, the Kurt Tucholsky Prize in Sweden, the Lettre Ulysses Award in Berlin, and in 1998, the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature. In the same year, the French edition of his novel Gifts also won the St. Malo Literature Festival’s prize. In addition, Farah is a perennial nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature, which is one of the only major literary prizes, for which he is eligible, that he has yet to win.
- Farah, Nuruddin (1965). Why Die So Soon?. Novella
- — (1970). From a Crooked Rib. London: Heinemann Educational. (African Writers Series 80)
- — (1976). A Naked Needle. London: Heinemann Educational. (African Writers Series 184)
- — (2000). Territoires. Serpent à Plumes.
- — (2015). Hiding in Plain Sight. London: Oneworld Publications. ISBN 978-1780747996. US: Riverhead Books, 2014.
- Variations on the Theme of an African Dictatorship trilogy
- Farah, Nuruddin (1979). Sweet and Sour Milk. London: Allison & Busby. Reprints: Heinemann (African Writers Series 226), 1980; Graywolf Press, 1992.
- — (1981). Sardines. London: Allison & Busby. Reprints: Heinemann (African Writers Series 252), 1982; Graywolf Press, 1992.
- — (1983). Close Sesame. London: Allison & Busby. Reprints: Graywolf Press, 1992.
- Blood in the Sun trilogy
- Farah, Nuruddin (1986). Maps. London: Pan Books. Reprints: Arcade Publishing, 1999.
- — (1993). Gifts. London: Serif. Reprints: Arcade, 1999; Kwela Books, 2001.
- — (1998). Secrets. New York: Arcade.
- Return to Somalia trilogy
- Farah, Nuruddin (2003). Links. Cape Town: Kwela Books. Reprints: Riverhead Books, 2004; Duckworth, 2005.
- — (2007). Knots. New York: Riverhead Books.
- — (2011). Crossbones. New York: Riverhead Books. Reprints: Granta Books, 2012.
- Farah, Nuruddin (December 22–29, 2014). "The Start of the Affair". The New Yorker 90 (41): 130–139.
- Farah, Nuruddin (1965). A Dagger in a Vacuum.
- Farah, Nuruddin (2000). Yesterday, Tomorrow: Voices from the Somali Diaspora. London: Cassell.
- Maya Jaggi (21 September 2012). "Nuruddin Farah: a life in writing". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
- The Editors of Prentice Hall (2001). Literature Lover's Companion: The Essential Reference to the World's Greatest Writers - Past and Present, Popular and Classical. Prentice Hall Press. p. 200. ISBN 073520229X.
- Wright, Derek. "The Novels of Nuruddin Farah". Wardheernews. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
- "Basra Farah, sister of Nuruddin Farah, among casualties of Kabul attack", Somalia Online, January 18, 2014.
- Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Reportage - Nuruddin Farah.
- Farah, Nuruddin (2012). Crossbones. Granta Books. ISBN 9781847086099. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- The Penguin Speaker's Bureau. Penguin Group
- Laila Lalami, "Nuruddin Farah’s ‘Hiding in Plain Sight’", The New York Times, 21 November 2014.
- "Bildhaan - Editorial Board". Macalester College. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- Michael Eldridge, "The Novels of Nuruddin Farah (review)", Africa Today, Vol. 52, Number 1, Fall 2005, pp. 141–43.
- Alden, Patricia, & Louis Tremain. "Nuruddin Farah." Twayne's world authors series v.876. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1999.
- Wright, Derek. "The Novels of Nuruddin Farah." Bayreuth African Studies Vol. 32, 2nd edition, Bayreuth: 200421:34
- Lettre Ulysses Award - Nuruddin Farah
- Maya Jaggi, "Bitter crumbs and sour milk - a nation betrayed" (profile of Nuruddin Farah), The Guardian, 18 April 1993. Accessed 27 June 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nuruddin Farah.|
- Petri Liukkonen. "Nuruddin Farah". Books and Writers (kirjasto.sci.fi). Archived from the original on 4 July 2013.
- Nuruddin Farah archive
- "Somalia in the fiction of Nuruddin Farah"
- "Nuruddin Farah: By the Book", The New York Times, 13 November 2014.
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