Established in 2009 in honour of Nobel Prize-winning British playwright, screenwriter, director and actor Harold Pinter, the annual awards celebrate writers of “outstanding literary merit” from Britain, the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland.
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.”
She was lauded by British author, human rights activist and Pinter’s widow Lady Antonia Margaret Caroline Fraser as an exemplary writer with “those qualities of courage and outspokenness which Harold much admired,” according to The Guardian.
Described as “sophisticated beyond measure in her understanding of gender, race and global inequality,” by this year’s panel of judges, according to Okay Africa, Adichie’s “refusal to be deterred or detained by the categories of others,” made her a deserving recipient in their eyes.
Other awards the Nigerian writer has under her belt include the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for her debut novel Purple Hibiscus in 2004, the Orange Prize in 2006 for her follow-up title, Half of a Yellow Sun, the US National Book Critics Circle award in 2014 for Americanah (all Algonquin Books).
Adichie will receive the award on 9 October 2018, where she will deliver an address at a public ceremony at the British Library.