Kenyan preeminent writer Ngugi Wa Thiongo (78) has been honoured with the Pak Kyong-ni Literature Award in recognition of his outstanding literary achievements.

The award is presented by the Toji Cultural Foundation, and the Pak Kyong-ni Literature Award Committee to a novelist whose cumulative work is considered an outstanding literary achievement.

The Prize was established by the Toji Cultural Foundation to “commemorate and further develop the great spirit of letters which the late author Pak Kyong Ni showed in writing her saga Toji (The Land)”. The Prize is awarded to “novelists whose works are highly regarded across the world and who have exercised a great influence on world literature”, the Toji Cultural Foundation says.

Pak Kyongni (1926-2008) was a respected writer, a leading figure in modern Korean literature and she is regarded as one of the most famous and respected writers in South Korea. She wrote numerous books in a career that spanned more than five decades after her literary debut in 1955. Her best-known work is the 20-volume epic novel Toji, which has been translated into several languages, including English, French and German.

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The award has a cash prize of $90,000, and it is one of the richest literary prizes in the world.

The award ceremony will take place at the Toji Cultural Center in Wonju, Gangwon Province, on Oct. 22, during the Pak Kyong-ni Literature Festival.

Thiong’o is currently a Distinguished Professor of the Departments of Comparative Literature and English at the University of California, Irvine, U.S.