Best selling author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has won the National Book Critics Circle Prize For fiction for her novel ‘Americanah’.
Americanah beat off stiff competition from four other finalists in the same category including “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt.
Americanah is the story of a Nigerian woman who moves to the United States in pursuit of a college education. The story explores love, self discovery and the challenges of being an immigrant in the American society.
A statement on the NBCC website reads:
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a transnational literary phenomenon, honored with awards in the U.S., the U.K., and Africa. Nigerian-born, the fifth of six children, she was raised in the university town of Nsukka, and came to the US to study at Eastern Connecticut State University, at Johns Hopkins (creative writing), and Yale (M.A. in African Studies). She won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, a coming of age story about a fundamentalist Nigerian family (the pious father beats his wife and children in private). Her elegiac chronicle of the Biafra civil war, Half of a Yellow Sun, was an NBCC finalist and won the 2006 Orange Broadband Prize a PEN Beyond Margins award and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. Stories from her collection That Thing Around Your Neck have been honored with the O. Henry award. With Americanah, which is at once a love story, an immigrant’s tale, and a socially acute snapshot of this chaotic moment in time, she nails the idiosyncrasies of three cultures.
The National Book Critics Circle awards are given each March and honor the best literature published in the United States in six categories—autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
They are the only national literary awards chosen by critics themselves. Each year the NBCC also honors one of its member critics with the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing and confers the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award on a distinguished author, editor, publisher, or literary institution.