Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been crowned the Women’s Prize for Fiction ‘Winner of Winners’ for her novel Half of a Yellow Sun (HarperCollins).
The one-off public vote, intended to celebrate 25 years of the prize, saw Adichie's novel come top of a line-up that also included Zadie Smith, the late Andrea Levy, Lionel Shriver, Rose Tremain and Maggie O’Farrell, among others.
More than 8,500 people joined in the public vote from September, ahead of which thousands of readers were challenged in 2020 to read all 25 previous winners of the prize and to share their thoughts as part of the prize’s digital book club.
The accolade comes in addition to Adichie's 'Best of the Best' award win five years ago, when she was selected from the past decade's winners of what was then the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction by chairs of judges from the past 10 years.
Half of a Yellow Sun originally won the Women's Prize for Fiction in 2007, when it was then known as the Orange Prize. Set in Nigeria during the Biafran War, the novel is about the end of colonialism, ethnic allegiances, class, race and female empowerment.
Adichie, currently in Lagos, Nigeria, thanked the prize for the special award, saying: "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."
Adichie has been 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.
An exclusive live online event with the author will be hosted by the Women’s Prize for Fiction with Kate Mosse, the founder director of the prize, on Sunday 6th December at 7 p.m. GMT. Tickets are available via the Women's Prize for Fiction’s website.
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