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This Novelist Just Won a Major Title for This Women-Only Prize

This Novelist Just Won a Major Title for This Women-Only Prize

Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was just named one of the top women novelists, ever.

The Baileys Women's Prize For Fiction is one of the most prestigious awards that celebrates "excellence, originality and accessibility in women's writing from throughout the world."

Originally known as the Orange Prize for Fiction, the award was established in 1996 and was only recently renamed once Baileys took over sponsorship in 2014.

As reported by the BBC, 38-year-old Adichie won the "Best of the Best" award in celebration of the 20-year anniversary of the annual prize. The Nigerian author won the award — which includes a $46,000 prize and a limited edition bronze medal known as a 'Bessie' —  in 2007 for her highly-acclaimed book, "Half The Yellow Sun," a story about war in Nigeria during the 1960s. 

The novel was crowned as the ‘best of the best’ by a panel of judges from the last 10 years, beating out other top works by heavy hitters Zadie Smith, Rosie Tremain, and Eimear McBride.

"Over the years [the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction] brought wonderful literature to a wide readership that might not have [otherwise been] found," Adichie said. "I have a lot of respect for the books that have won in the past 10 years and also for the books that have been shortlisted — I feel I am in very good company."

Muriel Gray, who chaired the judging in 2007 when Adichie won the Baileys Prize noted the significance of Adichie's novel.

"While it's sometimes pompous to call a book 'important,' it's appropriate to say it of 'Half of a Yellow Sun.'"

He went on to say that Adichie's undeniable talent matched with her success at a considerably young age in the literary world is "an astonishing feat.”

This award adds to Adichie's host of accolades both in the literary world and beyond. Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o is set to star in the film adaptation of the novelist's latest work, "Americannah" in 2016.

Read the full story here

NEXT: Zadie Smith Talks Writing, Women and Feminism With Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie »

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Photo Credit: Ulf Andersen via Getty Images