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Nigerian Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Voted Women’s ‘Winner Of Winners’

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Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel the Half of a Yellow Sun had won the prestigious Women’s prize for fiction in 2007 in the awards which were formerly known as the Orange Prize and the Bailey’s Prize. Now, 13 years later this book which is about the Biafran war has been voted the “winner of winners” of the same literary award in a public vote. The title was created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the award, the readers or the members of the public were asked to vote and choose their favourite out of the 25 previous winners over the years,  reported The Guardian.

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The novel revolves around the lives of five people including twin daughters of an influential businessman, a professor, a British citizen, and a Nigerian houseboy. It is about the life of these characters who are caught up in the civil war in Nigeria in the late 1960s. Adichie’s novel managed to win 8,500 votes from the public and defeated titles like Zadie Smith’s On Beauty and Lionel Shriver’s We Need to Talk About Kevin among others.

The author was just 29 when she won the Women’s prize for her second novel in 2007. That year’s contest nominated the Nigerian writer’s work against Booker winner Kiran Desai’s The Inheritance of Loss and Anne Tyler’s Digging to America. On learning about the news the author expressed herself and said, “especially moved to be voted ‘winner of winners’ because this is the prize that first brought a wide readership to my work – and has also introduced me to the work of many talented writers.”

Interestingly, Kate Mosse, who founded the Women’s prize in 1995 has read all the 25 books. Mosse found Women’s prize when judges of the 1991 Booker failed to include even a single woman author on their shortlist. Mosse while praising author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s work said that, “One of the things that’s so fantastic about Chimamanda being the winner of winners is that a lot of younger readers are now coming to that novel, who probably didn’t read it when it came out. It’s felt like a really celebratory thing to be doing over this very strange year.”

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About Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Adichie who is a Nigerian author has written books like Purple Hibiscus, and Americanah, the short story collection The Thing Around Your Neck, and the book-length essay ‘We Should All Be Feminists’. One of her most recent books includes Dear Ijeawele or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions. Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus received wide critical acclaim; and was awarded the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book. In 2008, the author was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant. In April 2017, it was announced that the author had been elected into the 237th class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which is one of the highest honours for intellectuals in the United States.

Arunima Sharma is an intern with SheThePeople.TV