Two Nigerian authors recently won major literary awards. Man Group, the sponsor of the Man Booker Prize, announced today that Nigerian author Chinua Achebe has won the second Man Booker International Prize for Fiction. And last week, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was named the winner of the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction for her novel Half of a Yellow Sun (Knopf, 2007). Together, the awards are worth nearly $200,000.
Achebe's international Booker accounts for more than half of that—the seventy-six-year-old will take home £60,000 (approximately $118,600). Achebe was chosen from a shortlist that included U.S. authors Philip Roth and Don DeLillo. The judges were Nadine Gordimer, Elaine Showalter, and Colm Tóibín.The prize is given every two years for a body of work by a fiction writer. The winner of the first International Booker was Albanian writer Ismail Kadare.
Adichie, who was born in 1977 in Aba, Nigeria, was chosen from a shortlist that included Anne Tyler of Baltimore for Digging to America (Knopf, 2006), Rachel Cusk of Britain for Arlington Park (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007), Kiran Desai of India for The Inheritance of Loss (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2006), Xiaulu Guo of China for A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers (Nan A. Talese, 2007), and Jane Harris of Britain for The Observations (Faber and Faber, 2006). The judges were Muriel Gray, Kathryn Hughes, Maya Jaggi, Marian Keyes, and Kate Saunders.