It feels great to announce that our own, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has very recently been awarded the 2018 PEN Pinter Prize. This Prize is named after Harold Pinter, the 2005 Nobel Prize in Literature Laureate.
You may wonder what the PEN Pinter Prize is about. It is an award that honors writers that have worked to achieve outstanding literary merit. It is for writers who are unwavering with fierce intellectual determination to speak the truth of our lives and that of our societies.
Previous winners of the PEN Pinter Prize include Margaret Atwood, and Salman Rushdie.
The 2018 Prize was judged by Antonia Fraser, who happens to be a biographer and Harold Pinter’s widow, Chair of trustees for English PEN Maureen Freely, and writers Philippe Sands, Alex Clark, and Inua Ellams.
They praised Adichie’s boldness and determination to stand by what she speaks, as well as her refusal to be detained by the categories of others.
Antonia Fraser hailed Adichie as an embodiment of “those qualities of courage and outspokenness which her husband, Harold, much admired.”
Maureen Freely says about Adichie, “In this age of the privatised, marketised self, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the exception who defies the rule.” She also says Adichie is “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.”
Adichie, in her comment about the award, says, “I admired Harold Pinter’s talent, his courage, his lucid dedication to telling his truth, and I am honored to be given an award in his name.”
Although she has been awarded the PEN Pinter Prize, Adichie will not be receiving it until the 9th of October, 2018, where she is also expected to announce her co-winner, who will receive the 2018 International Writer of Courage.
The 2018 International Writer of Courage award, goes hand in hand with the PEN Pinter Prize, in that it is meant for a writer who is active in defending freedom of expression even though it might or actually does put them at great risk.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, we say a big CONGRATULATIONS to you. Keep shining.