HALF of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been named ‘Best of the Best’ of the winners of the second decade of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. The announcement was made on Monday, at the Piccadilly Theatre in London.
The ‘Best of the Best’ was chosen from 10 novels that have won the prize in the past decade. Chairs of the judging panels read from each of the 10 prize-winning novels before the ‘Best of the Best’ announcement.
On the award, Adichie, from Abba in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State, said: “I have a lot of respect for the books that have won awards in the past 10 years and also for the books that have been shortlisted – I feel I am in very good company.
“To be selected as ‘Best of the Best’ of the past decade is such an honour. I’m very grateful and very happy.”
Half of a Yellow Sun won the Bailey’s Women’s Prize in 2007 (when it was still known as the Orange Prize).
Muriel Gray, chair of judges, said: “While it’s sometimes pompous to call a book ‘important’, it’s appropriate to say it of Half of a Yellow Sun. Chimamanda’s achievement makes Half of a Yellow Sun not just a worthy winner of this most special of prizes, but a benchmark for excellence in fiction writing.” The announcement marks the climax of celebrations to mark 20 years of the prize.
In a double win for Adichie, Half of a Yellow Sun was also the public’s choice for the “Best of the Best” award in a vote hosted on the BBC website.
The Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction is the world’s most prestigious annual book award for fiction written by a woman. Established in 1996, it celebrates and promotes fiction by women throughout the world to the widest range of readers possible.