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SOMALI NOVELIST NURUDDIN FARAH WILL SPEAK AT BARD COLLEGE ON MONDAY, MARCH 27 "One of Africa's major writers . . . a genuine artist . . . his mastery of complex forms of narration, bas

Emily Darrow

ANNANDALE-ON-HUDSON, N.Y.— Somali novelist Nuruddin Farah reads from his recent work at Bard College on Monday, March 27, at 7:00 p.m. in Room 102 of the F. W. Olin Humanities Building. Farah will be introduced by Chinua Achebe, Charles P. Stevenson Jr. Professor of Languages and Literature, who says that Farah "excels in giving voice to tragedy in remote places of the world that speak directly and familiarly to our own hearts." The program is sponsored by the Human Rights Project at Bard College and is free and open to the public.

Nuruddin Farah has been described by Salman Rushdie as "one of the finest contemporary African novelists" and "as one of the world's great writers" by Ishmael Reed. His most recent book, published this month, is Yesterday, Tomorrow: Voices from the Somali Diaspora (Literature, Culture, and Identity). Farah writes in English, one of five languages he was educated in, and imbues it with his rich multicultural experience. He was born in 1945 in Baidoa, Italian Somaliland (now Somalia) and grew up in Kallafo, under Ethiopian rule in Ogaden. He worked in the Somalian ministry of education before studying philosophy and literature in India. His first novel, From a Crooked Rib (1970), achieved worldwide cult status for its empathic portrait of a Somali woman struggling within the restraints of traditional society.

Farah's next three novels comprise the celebrated trilogy known collectively as "Variations on the Theme of an African Dictatorship." The first of these is Sweet and Sour Milk (1979) which won the English Speaking Union Literary Award and caused Farah to become persona non grata in Somalia. The other two books in the trilogy are Sardines and Close Sesame. Farah's more recent novels Secrets, Maps, and Gifts comprise the "Blood in the Sun" trilogy, an extraordinary contemporary portrait of a nation.

In 1998 Farah received the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. He lives in Cape Town, South Africa, with his wife and children.

For further information about the reading, call the Human Rights Project at 914-758-7332.

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This event was last updated on 03-02-2001