Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the winner of the PEN Pinter Prize 2018. She will receive the award at a public ceremony at the British Library in October, where she will deliver an address.
The PEN Pinter Prize was established in 2009 by the charity English PEN, which advocates and defends freedom of expression and promotes literature, in memory of Nobel-Laureate playwright Harold Pinter.
The prize is given to writers, in memory of playwright Harold Pinter, who take an “unflinching, unswerving” look at the world.
The prize is awarded annually to a writer of impeccable literary record from Britain, the Republic of Ireland or the Commonwealth.
The Half of a Yellow Sun author described the award as an “honour” and further added that she admired Harold Pinter’s talent, his courage, his lucid dedication to telling his truth.
Adichie was chosen by this year’s judges: president of English PEN Philippe Sands; Antonia Fraser, historian, biographer and widow of Harold Pinter; writer and critic Alex Clark; poet, playwright and performer Inua Ellams; and Maureen Freely, chair of judges and trustees for English PEN.
The judges praised Adichie’s “refusal to be deterred or detained by the categories of others”. Her writing was “sophisticated beyond measure in her understanding of gender, race and global inequality”.
Antonia Byatt, Director of English PEN, said “Adichie’s writing and activism has travelled across so many frontiers showing us what is important in the world. She is a very worthy winner of this extraordinary prize.”
Antonia Fraser, Harold Pinter’s widow, said: “I greet the tenth award of the PEN Pinter Prize with great enthusiasm. Not only is Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie a brilliant, compelling writer but she embodies in herself those qualities of courage and outspokenness which Harold much admired.”