Nuruddin Farah is a prize-winning and outspoken Somali activist. Farah describes his purpose for writing as an attempt “to keep my country alive by writing about it.” His first novel, From a Crooked Rib (1970), told the story of a nomad girl who flees from an arranged marriage to a much older man. The novel earned him mild but international acclaim. Since then, Farah has garnered acclaim as one of the greatest contemporary writers in the world. Having published many short stories, novels and essays, his prose has earned him, among other accolades, the Premio Cavour in Italy, the Kurt Tucholsky Prize in Sweden, the Lettre Ulysses Award in Berlin, and in 1998, the prestigious Neustadt International Prize for Literature. In the same year, the French edition of his novel Gifts also won the St. Malo Literature Festival’s prize. In addition, Farah is a perennial nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature, which is one of the only major literary prizes, for which he is eligible, that he has yet to win.
At Bard, he read from his latest novel Knots, a story of a young Somalian woman and her journey overcoming the challenges facing Somalian women.