Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received the Women’s Prize for Literature “Winner of Winners” award at a ceremony on Sunday, December 6, 2020.
The Women’s Prize for Fiction, founded in 1996, is the most prestigious annual book award celebrating and honouring fiction written by women in the UK. The team organising the prize announced a “Winner of Winners,” award to be selected by a popular vote from readers, as part of their 25-anniversary celebrations earlier in the year.
The winner for the award, announced on November 12, was voted to be Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for her novel Half of a Yellow Sun. 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. The Nigerian writer was presented with her award at a virtual ceremony this Sunday which was hosted by Kate Mosse, the prize’s founding director.
There was a reading from the book conducted by actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw before there were two sessions featuring Adichie. One was a recorded session and the other was streaming in from Lagos with Jola Ayeye as discussant. For the next half hour or so, we heard from the famous Nigerian talk about a variety of issues like why winning this prize was so important to her (because the book mainstreamed her work), delved deep into this book and its production, why male authors sell more than women (not because they are better writers but because they are better promoted), and loads more.
You can watch the presentation in its entirety in the below video