The prize founder and director, Kate Mosse, disclosed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.
The novel, which originally won the Women’s Prize for Fiction in 2007, was set in Nigeria during the Biafran War and dwelt on the end of colonialism, class, race and female empowerment and how love can complicate all of these things.
Mosse said: ‘’I am thrilled that Half of a Yellow Sun has won the silver Winner of Winners. Our aim has always been to promote and celebrate the classics of tomorrow today and to build a library of exceptional and outstanding international fiction written by women.
‘’The ‘Reading Women’ campaign has been the perfect way to introduce a new generation of readers to the brilliance of all of our twenty-five winners and to honour the phenomenal quality and range of women’s writing from all over the world,’’ she said.
Mosse added that the public chose Adichie over a stellar-line up including Zadie Smith, the late Andrea Levy, Lionel Shriver, Rose Tremain Hand and Maggie O’Farrell.
She added that this one-off award marks the culmination of the Prize’s year-long 25th anniversary celebrations, forming a key part of Reading Women campaign which champions a quarter of a century of phenomenal winners.
Throughout 2020, thousands of readers embarked on a challenge to read all 25 previous winners of the Prize, joining the Prize’s digital book club to share their thoughts, and downloading newly created online reading guides and exclusive author interviews.
Over 8,500 people joined in the public vote in September.
Adichie thanked the Prize for the award, saying ‘I’m especially moved to be voted ‘Winner of Winners’ because this is the Prize that first brought a wide readership to my work – and has also introduced me to the work of many talented writers.’
Adichie will be presented with a specially-commissioned silver edition of the Prize’s annual statuette, known as the ‘Bessie’, which was originally created and donated by the artist Grizel Nivenas part of the gift of an anonymous donor.
She will talk further about her writing and being chosen for the ‘Winner of Winners’ award in an exclusive live online event hosted by Mosse and the Women’s Prize for Fiction on Dec. 6.
Adichie’s work has been translated into 30 languages and appeared in numerous publications.
Her first novel Purple Hibiscus, published in 2003, was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize in 2005, and won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award.
Her non-fiction includes the book-length essay We Should All Be Feminists, published in 2014, and her most recent book, Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, published in 2017.
A recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.