Nobel Prize winner Abdulrazak Gurnah to headline 2021 Sharjah International Book Fair

Tanzanian author's participation will mark his first appearance at a literary event since Nobel Prize win

Abdulrazak Gurnah will be participating at this year’s Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), marking the Tanzanian author’s first appearance at a literary event after being awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature.

The novelist will be among 85 local and international literary figures taking part in the 40th iteration of the fair, which will run from November 3 to 13 at the Expo Centre Sharjah.

Money Heist creator Alex Pina, Jnanpith Award-winner Amitav Ghosh and The Pursuit of Happyness author Chris Gardner are also scheduled to appear.

“It will be Gurnah’s first-ever panel since he was honoured with a Nobel Prize,” Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority, organiser of the book fair, said during a press conference at the House of Wisdom on Wednesday. “All of the authors participating in the book fair will be with us here in Sharjah."

Leading Arab figures in this year’s lineup include Algerian author Ahlam Mosteghanemi, Saudi singer and poet Khalid Abdulrahman and Algerian novelist Waciny Laredj.

More than 1,500 publishers from 83 countries will also participate in the book fair – the highest number since the fair was established in 1982. Nine countries will be marking their inaugural appearance at this year’s iteration of the fair: South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Rwanda, Cameron and Colombia.

The biggest participant this year is Egypt, with 293 publishing houses from the Arab republic taking part. More than 240 publishing houses from the UAE will appear, as well as 14 from Spain, which is the guest of honour for the 2021 fair.

“We shall bring publishing companies, nine renowned authors, distinguished chefs, music concerts and other relevant cultural and tourist manifestations,” Inigo de Palacio, the Spanish ambassador to the UAE, said during the press conference.

Panels featuring Spanish literary figures will discuss topics including what cities will look like in the future, the interchange between Arabic and Spanish translation, as well a panel on scriptwriting featuring Pina, the creator and scriptwriter of the hit Netflix series Money Heist.

The panellists will discuss the peculiarities of scriptwriting and how to have success in scriptwriting,” de Palacio said.

More than 440 cultural events are scheduled to take place as part of the yet-to-be-revealed programme. The events will include talks, workshops, as well as 80 theatre, dance and music performances. The fair will also have a cooking corner, plus dedicated sections for designers and artists of various ages.

More information is available at www.sibf.com

Updated: October 14th 2021, 7:15 AM