A Nigerian author has taken home the National Book Critics Circle prize for fiction. A novel covering the complex issue race and identity, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah is the tale of a Nigerian woman who moves to the U.S. to attend college and the challenges she faces.
“I don’t know race in the way an African American knows race,” Adichie told The Los Angeles Times. “Sometimes it takes an outsider to see something about your own reality that you don’t.”
If you haven’t read Adichie’s work,you probably know her voice. Her voice was sampled on Beyoncé’s hit “Flawless,” reports The Shadow League.
Adichie beat out The Goldfinch author Donna Tartt as well as three other finalists. Adichie’s works also include Half of a Yellow Sun, which is in the process of becoming a major motion picture starring Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death In a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, about Hurricane Katrina by Sheri Fink won for nonfiction. Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World by Leo Damrosch won the biography category while Amy Wilentz’s Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti landed the autobiography honor, reports The Huffington Post.
Each year the National Book Critics Circle Awards honors “the finest books and reviews published in English.” The first NBCC awards were presented in 1976.
Adichie joins a long line of famous Nigeria authors who have taken home the prize — Chinua Achebe, Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka, Ben Okri, and Chika Unigwe to name a few.