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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Photo credit: PORT Magazine.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been awarded the 2018 PEN Pinter Prize. Named after Harold Pinter, the 2005 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate, the PEN Pinter Prize honours a writer of “outstanding literary merit,” who is “unflinching, unswerving,” and demonstrates “fierce intellectual determination … to define the real truth of our lives and our societies.” Previous winners include Margaret Atwood and Salman Rushdie.

The 2018 Prize was judged by biographer Antonia Fraser, who is 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 “refusal to be deterred or detained by the categories of others.” Fraser hailed Adichie as an embodiment of “those qualities of courage and outspokenness which Harold much admired.”

“In this age of the privatised, marketised self, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the exception who defies the rule,” said Maureen Freely. “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.”

Commenting on her win, 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.

Adichie will received the Prize on 9 October, 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 is meant for a writer “who is active in defence of freedom of expression, often at great risk to their own safety and liberty.”

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie continues to lead from the front. Congratulations to her!

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OTOSIRIEZE is a writer, literary journalist, former academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. A judge for the 2019 Gerald Kraak Award, he is an editor at 14, Nigeria’s first queer art collective which has published two volumes: WE ARE FLOWERS and THE INWARD GAZE. He is the curator of ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness: ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016) focuses on cities in Nigeria; WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017) focuses on professions in Nigeria. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition, and has been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship and the Gerald Kraak Award, both in 2016, and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop. He has completed a collection of short stories, YOU SING OF A LONGING, and is working on a novel. He is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. He combined history and literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. When bored, the boy just Googles Rihanna. Find him at otosirieze.com, where he accepts editing and writing offers, or on Instagram or Twitter: @otosirieze.

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