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Born in Baidoa in what was Italian Somaliland in 1945, Farah has produced a series of novels, plays, essays and journalistic reflections on his native Somalia.
His first novel, From a Crooked Rib (1970), established his concern with the particular struggles of women in the Horn of Africa.
This has only endured and intensified throughout his more than 40-year career.
To date, Farah has written three novelistic trilogies.
The first, Variations on the Theme of an African Dictatorship, comprising Sweet and Sour Milk (1979), Sardines (1981) and Close Sesame (1983), offers a quasi-Orwellian portrait of life under autocratic power.
The second, Blood in the Sun, featuring Maps (1986), Gifts (1992) and Secrets (1998), is set against the backdrop of civil conflict and famine in Somalia.
The most recent, Past Imperfect, made up of Links (2004), Knots (2007) and Crossbones (2011), provides a fictional exploration of everything from the botched US-led Operation Restore Hope to contemporary debates about international piracy.
Based in Cape Town, Farah has dedicated himself to telling stories about his homeland with a view to disrupting some of the rather more reductive tendencies in both colonial discourse and the contemporary media.
He is widely tipped to add his name to the list of African Nobel prize-winning writers.