Four People of Color Who Won the Nobel Literature Prize
About this course:
This course looks at the works of four people of color, each a Nobel Prize winner. Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941; Nobel Prize: 1913), an Indian writing in Bengali, was the first non-European to win the prize; he was a major world-famous literary figure from the nineteen-teens through the 1930s. Of his work, we read Gitanjali (selected poems; online) and his novel, Home and the World (1916). Naguib Mahfuz (1911-2006; Nobel Prize: 1986), a prolific Egyptian writing in Arabic, frequently provoked the ire of politicians and Islamic clerics. We read his novel, Midaq Alley (1947). Many of the works of the late Trinidadian writer V.S. Naipaul (1932-2018; Novel Prize: 2001) are highly controversial, especially those about Africa and Muslims. We read his novel, A Bend in the River (1979). Orhan Pamuk (b. 1952; Nobel Prize: 2006), is a Turkish writer who has been the center of on-going politico-literary controversy with the current regime in Turkey, We read his novel, The Red-Haired Woman (2016). The novels are an average of about 250 pages, and two sessions will be devoted to each writer. This is a heavier-than-usual reading load for my courses.