Chimamanda Adichie Wins Women’s Prize for Literature

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Nigerian writer and author of ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been voted winner of Women’s Prize for Literature “Winner of Winners,” according to a statement issued yesterday by the organisers.

She was overwhelmingly voted as the winner for her novel, Half of a Yellow Sun.

The public chose Chimamanda’s novel over a stellar-line up, including Zadie Smith, the late Andrea Levy, Lionel Shriver, Rose Tremain and Maggie O’Farrell, amongst others.

This one-off award marks the culmination of the Prize’s year-long 25 the anniversary celebrations, forming a key part of our Reading Women campaign which champions a quarter of a century of phenomenal winners.

Throughout 2020, thousands of readers embarked on a challenge to read all 25 previous winners of the Prize, joining the Prize’s digital bookclub to share their thoughts, and downloading the organisers’ newly created online reading guides and exclusive author interviews.

Over 8,500 people joined in the public vote in September.

Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s haunting novel, originally won the Women’s Prize for Fiction (then the Orange Prize) in 2007.

Set in Nigeria during the Biafran War, the novel is about the end of colonialism, ethnic allegiances, class, race and female empowerment – and how love can complicate all of these things.

First published in 2006, it garnered critical and popular acclaim around the world and was adapted into a film starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton in the lead roles and was released worldwide in 2013.

In her reaction to the prize, Chimamanda Adichie said: “I am 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.”

She will be presented with a silver edition of the Prize’s annual statuette, known as the ‘Bessie’, which was originally created and donated by the artist, Grizel Niven, as part of the gift of an anonymous donor. It will be an online event on December 6, 2020.