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Chère Ijeawele, ou Un Manifeste Pour Une Education Féministe, the French edition of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, has been awarded the 2017 Le Grand Prix De L’héroïne Madame Figaro in the Nonfiction Category.

Coming three months after the book’s release, this is Adichie’s first nonfiction award and her fourth award of 2017, following her “One Book, One New York” win for Americanah in March, her “One Maryland, One Book” win for Purple Hibiscus in April, and her Mary McCarthy Award in June.

Founded in 2006 by the French magazine Madame Figaro to celebrate heroines of French and foreign literature, the Le Grand Prix De L’héroïne Madame Figaro names winners in the novel, nonfiction and foreign novel categories.

The 2017 judging panel was chaired by the journalist Patrick Poivre d’Arvor. The novel prize went to Alex Stresi for Lopping while Lauren Groff received the foreign novel prize for Les Furies.

Here is what Adichie’s French publisher, Marie-Pierre Gracedieu of Gallimard, has to say:

“When I read Dear Ijeawele, I felt an urge to share it with many friends, women and men, who had become parents of a girl in the recent years. Then I started to feel it had to be read by parents of boys too. And thereafter by every one of us to investigate our own education, and try to overcome a few inherited clichés. Therefore to publish it at Gallimard has meant a lot to me, and it is a very rewarding experience to see it awarded the Grand Prix de l’Héroïne by Madame Figaro, a prize that celebrates the power of literature and of characters as role models.

“The fact that such an established and popular weekly has understood the importance of spreading the content of this letter-manifesto, even in the Western world, and especially in the political context we are now, brings me joy and hope.”

Here is a description of the book by its publishers, PenguinRandomHouse.

From the best-selling author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feministscomes a powerful new statement about feminism today–written as a letter to a friend.

A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. Dear Ijeawele is Adichie’s letter of response.

Here are fifteen invaluable suggestions–compelling, direct, wryly funny, and perceptive–for how to empower a daughter to become a strong, independent woman. From encouraging her to choose a helicopter, and not only a doll, as a toy if she so desires; having open conversations with her about clothes, makeup, and sexuality; debunking the myth that women are somehow biologically arranged to be in the kitchen making dinner, and that men can “allow” women to have full careers, Dear Ijeawele goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century. It will start a new and urgently needed conversation about what it really means to be a woman today.

Days ago, Adichie announced that her Farafina Creative Writing Workshop will not hold this year after its sponsors, Nigerian Breweries Plc., pulled out. Here is something consoling. Congratulations to Chimamanda Adichie!

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review ("Mulumba," 2016), Transition ("A Tenderer Blessing," 2015), and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award ("You Sing of a Longing," 2017), for which he was shortlisted. His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. His conversations appear in Africa in Dialogue, Bakwa, SPRINNG, and Dwartonline. He is the curator of the Art Naija Series, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, Enter Naija: The Book of Places (October 2016), focuses on Nigerian cities. The second, Work Naija: The Book of Vocations (June 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. Born in Aba, he combined history and literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies, and teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. When bored, he just Googles Rihanna.

One Response to “Dear Ijeawele Wins Adichie Her First Ever Nonfiction Award and Fourth Award of 2017” Subscribe

  1. Adefemi Adejola 2017/07/07 at 10:00 #

    Congratulations to our hard working and adorable Ngozi. The work deserves serious attention and this will definitely provide a platform amongst many others that will soon surface.Even if you don’t agree with any of the ideas put forward by Ngozi, the sincerity of the protagonist and the serious research underlying the work are indisputable.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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