Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been named the best novel written by a female author in the last 10 years.
The book scooped the prestigious "Best of the Best" Award from the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction last night, having been chosen by the public as the best novel to win the prize in the last decade.
Half of a Yellow Sun, which follows the stories of three people living in 1960s Nigeria, won the Women's Prize for Fiction in 2007. The chairs of each judging panel for the prize discussed their chosen winning novels on Women's Hour yesterday and in Stylist last week, culminating in a public vote which saw Half of a Yellow Sun declared the best book to win the prize.
Speaking after winning the prize, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who also hosted the first ever Stylist Book Club, said, "I have a lot of respect for the books that have won in the past ten 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.”
Muriel Gray, who was Chair of Judges in 2007, added, "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 other winners of the prize over the last decade are:
2006 – On Beauty by Zadie Smith (Chair, Martha Kearney)
2007 – Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Chair, Muriel Gray)
2008 – The Road Home by Rose Tremain (Chair, Kirsty Lang)
2009 – Home by Marilynne Robinson (Chair, Fi Glover)
2010 – The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver (Chair, Daisy Goodwin)
2011 – The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht (Chair, Bettany Hughes)
2012 – The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (Chair, Joanna Trollope OBE)
2013 – May We Be Forgiven by A. M Homes (Chair, Miranda Richardson)
2014 – A Girl is a Half-formed Thing by Eimear McBride (Chair, Helen Fraser)
2015 – How to be Both by Ali Smith (Chair, Shami Chakrabarti CBE)