2017 has been a busy year for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Even though the annual Farafina Creative Writing Workshop that she spearheads didn’t hold, she’s still been pretty prominent in literary news.
In March, she won the One Book, One New York award; in April, she took home the One Maryland, One Book; and in June, she nabbed the Mary McCarthy award.
Now the French edition of her most recent book, Dear Ijeawele, Or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions – which was published in March – was just awarded the 2017 Le Grand Prix De L’héroïne Madame Figaro in the nonfiction category (her first-ever win in this category).
Founded in 2006 by French magazine, Madame Figaro, to celebrate heroines of French and foreign literature, the Le Grand Prix De L’héroïne Madame Figaro honours authors in nonfiction and foreign novel categories.
Adichie’s French publisher, Marie-Pierre Gracedieu of Gallimard, had this to say about the win:
“When I read Dear Ijeawele, I felt an urge to share it with many friends, women and men, who had become parents of a girl in the recent years. Then I started to feel it had to be read by parents of boys too.
And thereafter by every one of us to investigate our own education, and try to overcome a few inherited clichés. Therefore to publish it at Gallimard has meant a lot to me, and it is a very rewarding experience to see it awarded the Grand Prix de l’Héroïne by Madame Figaro, a prize that celebrates the power of literature and of characters as role models.
“The fact that such an established and popular weekly has understood the importance of spreading the content of this letter-manifesto, even in the Western world, and especially in the political context we are now, brings me joy and hope.”
Chimamanda has already broken the glass ceiling as a female author. She has become as acclaimed as her male counterparts who started their careers decades before her. It’ll be exciting to see what else she has in store for us.