Uk: Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun wins ‘best of the best’ Baileys prize

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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.