Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been awarded the Women’s Prize for Fiction known as ‘Winner of Winners’ for her novel Half of a Yellow Sun.
The novel was chosen by the reading public among all the books that have won the prize in the past as part of the Prize’s 25th anniversary.
Among the authors who had won the women’s prize in the past and who Chimamanda’s book was chosen were Zadie Smith, the late Andrea Levy, Lionel Shriver, Rose Tremain, and Maggie O’Farrell, amongst others.
The Women’s prize award is a one-off award to mark the Prize’s year-long 25th-anniversary celebrations, forming a key part of the Reading Women campaign which champions a quarter of a century of phenomenal winners.
A statement by the publisher said “Throughout 2020, thousands of readers embarked on a challenge to read all 25 previous winners of the Prize, joining the Prize’s digital Book club to share their thoughts, and downloading our newly created online reading guides and exclusive author interviews.
Over 8,500 people joined in the public vote in September.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun originally won the Women’s Prize for Fiction (then the Orange Prize) in 2007. It is set in Nigeria during the Biafran War, it is about the end of colonialism, ethnic allegiances, class, race, and female empowerment – and how love can complicate all of these things.
It was first published in 2006 and has garnered critical and popular acclaim around the world. It was adapted into a film starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton in 2013.
In her reaction to winning the Winner of winners’ prize, Chimamanda thanked her publishers for the special award.
According to her, “I’m 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 specially-commissioned 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.
Chimamanda is billed to talk more about her writing and being chosen for the ‘Winner of Winners’ award in an exclusive live online event hosted by Founder Director Kate Mosse and the Women’s Prize for Fiction on Sunday 6 December at 7 pm GMT.