Nuruddin Farah, award-winning Somalian author and peace advocate, will visit Augsburg College on Wednesday, Oct. 15. He will read from his latest novel, “Knots” at 6 p.m. in Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center. The reading will be followed by a discussion, reception, and book signing.
The event, titled “The Power of Words,” will focus on how Farah advocates for social justice through his writings. According to Lynn Ellingson, Augsburg graduate recruiter who has helped bring Farah to campus, “He is able to document the horrific violence of his homeland, but yet his books are very hopeful.”
Farah’s book “Maps” won the Neustatdt International Prize for Literature in 1998, a biennial award that is considered by some to be second only to the Nobel Prize. All of Farah’s novels are set in Somalia and include the micro-politics of the family, focusing on those whose ideas and lives are often marginalized.
Farah was born in 1945 in Baidoa, Somalia and currently lives in Cape Town, South Africa. He studied in Chandigarh, India and at London and Essex universities, and has taught in Germany, Nigeria, and Uganda. “From a Crooked Rib,” written by Farah in 1970, is said to be the first modern African novel by a male author to focus on the oppression of women. After this book was written Farah was exiled from Somalia for twenty-two years. Farah continues to have passion for his country and has said, “I believe I keep my country alive by writing about it.”
Mary Laurel-True, associate director of the Center for Service Work and Learning, will be personally inviting the Somalian community to come to this event as it is expected to gain a lot of attention and be considered a time for healing.
Farah’s visit is sponsored by Work Culture at Augsburg, International Student Organization, English department, Pan-Afrikan Center, Office of International Programs, Center for Service, Work and Learning, and World Visions book group.
Article by Erin Gottfried