Quotes by Nuruddin Farah

"I have tried my best to keep my country alive by writing about it."

"She wondered then if she had ever been on the right track. She had been reticent all her life, because it turned out that her opinions were different from what others expected. 'That proves either that I am an exceptional idiot, or the reverse."

"Many more villagers, who have seen an elephant for the first time in their lives, give absurd exaggerations regarding his size, weight, and height. One of them describes him as ‘a fundament!’. Another, elaborating, alludes to the term ‘firmament,’ because of the elephant’s hugeness. He felt as though the sky was obliterated from his vision. The last to be interviewed by the local TV station swears that he sensed the world lean forward as the elephant came closer and tilt backwards as the beast walked away.
This large mammal ambles purposefully. He pays no heed to the crowded silence following him in stealthy consciousness. One of the villagers, a woman often suspected of dabbling in witchcraft, talks of her inspired theory: that this was no elephant, more like a human on a holy mission of avenging justice. Two other witnesses, neither having had any contact with the woman, speak in substantiation of the woman’s claims, giving as evidence the observation that the elephant turned around when someone said something in Somali. Several villagers will not comment, afraid of a fitting retribution should they do so."

"Death in Somalia seldom bothers to announce its arrival. In fact, death calls with the arrogance of a guest confident on receiving a warm welcome at any time, no question asked."

"No writing is good enough until you, as an author, make a small contribution, the size of a drop, into the ocean of the world’s literature."


Books by Nuruddin Farah

  • Maps
  • 841 ratings
  • November 1st 2000 by Penguin Group

    (first published 1986)

  • Links
  • 523 ratings
  • March 29th 2005 by Penguin Group

    (first published 2003)

  • Gifts
  • 281 ratings
  • November 1st 2000 by Penguin Books

    (first published January 1st 1990)

  • Knots
  • 258 ratings
  • February 1st 2007 by Riverhead Hardcover

    (first published January 1st 2007)

  • Crossbones
  • 240 ratings
  • September 1st 2011 by Riverhead Books
  • Secrets
  • 233 ratings
  • December 1st 1999 by Penguin USA

    (first published May 21st 1998)

Nuruddin Farah
  • Nuruddin Farah

  • Date of birth: November 24, 1945
  • Born: in Baidoa, Somalia.

  • Description: Nuruddin Farah (Somali: Nuuradiin Faarax, Arabic: نور الدين فرح‎) is a prominent Somali novelist. Farah has garnered acclaim as one of the greatest contemporary writers in the world, his prose having earned him accolades including 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 won the St Malo Literature Festival's prize. In addition, Farah is a perennial nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature.