Baidoa, Somalia


Samuel Fischer Guest Professor

Nuruddin Farah

Nurrudin Farah was born in 1945 in Baidoa, South Somalia. After his country had gained independence and border disputes broke out, he studied Philosophy, Sociology and Literature at the Punjab University in India.

He achieved international success with his first novel From a Crooked Rib (1984, 1994, OA 1970). After being confronted with repression, Farah moved to London in 1974 where he studied Theater Studies. In the late 1970s he was sentenced to death in absentia. For 22 years he lived in various countries in Europe, Africa and the United States and worked as a guest lecturer. His novels Close Sesame (2010) and Crossbones (2012) were recently published in German. Farah’s novels, plays and radio plays have been translated into twenty languages whereas in Somalia they circulate as underground literature. The author has been honored with numerous awards, including the Neustadt Prize for Literature of the University of Oklahoma, the Lettre Ulysses Price of the magazine Lettre International, the Tucholsky Prize of Stockholm and the Grinzane Prize for Africa.

“Obviously, countries can go into a coma just like humans. When my beloved goes into a coma, I can’t look away.”

Nuruddin Farah