Chimamanda Adichie Wins PEN Pinter Prize

By Ikenga Chronicles June 13, 2018

Chimamanda Adichie Wins PEN Pinter Prize

Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been awarded the 2018 PEN Pinter prize.

She was hailed by Harold Pinter’s widow, the biographer Antonia Fraser, as a writer who embodies “those qualities of courage and outspokenness which Harold much admired”.

An award-winning novelist – her 2004 debut Purple Hibiscus won the Commonwealth writers’ prize, Half of a Yellow Sun won her the Orange prize in 2006, and Americanah took the US National Book Critics Circle award in 2014 – Adichie is also known for her TED talks and essays.

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Her most recent book is Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, which began as advice for a friend about how to raise her daughter as a feminist.

Her 2013 TED talk, “We Should All Be Feminists”, was later published as a pamphlet and distributed to every 16-year-old in Sweden as part of a campaign by the Swedish Women’s Lobby.

“I admired Harold Pinter’s talent, his courage, his lucid dedication to telling his truth, and I am honoured to be given an award in his name,” said Adichie.

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Judges for the award praised Adichie’s “refusal to be deterred or detained by the categories of others”.

“In this age of the privatised, marketised self, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the exception who defies the rule,” said Maureen Freely, chair of trustees for English PEN.

“Sophisticated beyond measure in her understanding of gender, race, and global inequality, she guides us through the revolving doors of identity politics, liberating us all.”

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