Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, was announced as the winner of 2018 PEN Pinter Prize for her writing and activism. The PEN Pinter Prize was established in 2009 by the charity English PEN, which defends freedom of expression and promotes literature, in memory of Nobel-Laureate playwright Harold Pinter.
The prize is awarded annually to a writer of outstanding literary merit from Britain, the Republic of Ireland or the Commonwealth, one who casts an unflinching gaze upon the world, and displays a fierce intellectual determination to define the real truth of our lives and our societies.
Adichie will receive the award at a public ceremony at the British Library on the 9th of October, where she will also deliver a speech. President of English PEN Philippe Sands; historian, biographer and widow of Harold Pinter Antonia Fraser; writer and critic Alex Clark; poet, playwright and performer Inua Ellams, and Chair of Judges and Chair of trustees for English PEN Maureen Freely were judges for this year’s edition.
Reacting to the award the Adichie said “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.”
Maureen Freely, who is one of the judges stated that, “In this age of the privatised, marketised self, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the exception who defies the rule. In her gorgeous fictions, but just as much in her TED talks and essays, she refuses to be deterred or detained by the categories of others. 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”.
The award is named after the late Harold Pinter, the master playwright (1930-2008), who was the vice-president of English PEN and a human rights activist.
Some of Adichie’s works includes Half of a Yellow Sun, Purple Hibiscus, Americanah and her most recent book, Dear Ijeawele.