Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s third novel Americanah has been awarded the 2013 Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for fiction.
The Heartland Prize is a literary prize created in 1988 by the Chicago Tribune Newspaper.
According to Elizabeth Taylor, the literary editor of the Chicago Tribune, the prize is awarded yearly in two categories, fiction and non-fiction, to books that are concerned with American issues, causes and concerns. “We loved Americanah . It’s a powerful, resonant novel and we would be delighted to celebrate it and try to share it with a wider audience,” Taylor wrote.
“I’m very pleased,” Adichie said on receiving news of the prize. “You never know what will happen when you write a novel. And for me, a Nigerian, to have written this book which is partly about America, and to receive this quintessentially American prize means that I have said something about America as seen through Nigerian eyes that Americans find interesting. I take that as a wonderful compliment. It reminds me of the ability of literature to make us become briefly alive in bodies not our own.”
Past fiction winners of the Heartland Prize include Jonathan France for his novel Freedom and Marilyn ne Robinson for her novel Gilead.
The prize will be awarded on November 3, 2013 at an audience-attended event hosted in partnership with the Chicago Humanities Festival in Chicago.