In Summary
  • Birgitta Jacobsson Ekblom, head of communications for the fair, added they had received this information and were in contact with Ngugi, a fierce critic of post-colonial Kenyan society.
  • On April 21, more than 200 Swedish authors signed an article in daily Dagens Nyheter saying they would boycott the book fair if Nya Tider is represented.

Kenyan literary icon Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, often tipped for the Nobel literature prize, has pulled out of an annual Swedish book fair in protest of the presence of a right-wing extremist newspaper, his publisher said on Wednesday.

The 75-year-old author of "A Grain of Wheat" (1967) and "Petals of Blood" (1975), wrote an e-mail to his Swedish publisher Modernista informing them he would cancel his attendance at the Gothenburg Book Fair "in solidarity with the writers withdrawing and of course with the concerns behind their withdrawal," referring to the newspaper Nya Tider, which will be represented at the fair.

"We can confirm that Ngugi wa Thiong'o has cancelled his attendance at the book fair in Gothenburg in the autumn," Kristofer Andersson, development director at Modernista, told AFP.

FIERCE CRITIC

Birgitta Jacobsson Ekblom, head of communications for the fair, added they had received this information and were in contact with Ngugi, a fierce critic of post-colonial Kenyan society.

The event, to be held September 28 to October 1, is Scandinavia's largest book fair and draws around 100,000 visitors each year.

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