Milkman author, Anna Burns, has made literary history as the first Irish female recipient of the International Dublin Literary Award.
Writer and activist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has devoted her life to telling stories that properly represent Nigerian culture and now she wants to discuss the issues effecting her country.
Upon winning the PEN Pinter prize, Adichie spoke openly about using art to humanize politics. For her efforts to speak out on the challenges her culture faces, the judges described her as “sophisticated beyond measure in her understanding of gender, race, and global inequality.” Adichie said in her lecture Shut Up and Write,
Sometimes politics must be engaged with as politics. And this could not be any truer or more urgent today, with the political landscapes of many western countries so blatantly awash in what Harold Pinter called ‘a vast tapestry of lies, upon which we feed’. We must know what is true. And we must call a lie a lie.
She has also broached the issue of LGBT rights within her home country.
Image via The Guardian
Living away from home for so long she could not help to spread the awareness of the various issues facing Nigeria such as women’s rights and LGBT rights. Adichie has said that she has been perceived as going against her native culture, and that “homosexuality was un-African, and my supporting the rights of gay people meant a disregard of African culture.” Writing has provided Adichie with a platform to speak her truths.
During the ceremony Adichie presented Waleed Abulkhair as this year’s International Writer of Courage. The lawyer and human rights activist disputed with Saudi Arabia’s court and ultimately lost. His efforts to start up conversations among the youth to discuss government laws resulted him being sentenced to fifteen years in jail with no rights to be provided with books, medication, or post. Adichie made it clear that Abulkhair efforts to support victims of governmental abuse will not be forgotten. In her speech she said “she was deeply proud to share the prize with Abulkhair, and I hope that this small act of solidarity will bring him some comfort, and will remind him that his struggle has not been forgotten, nor will it be in vain.”
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie continues to devote her writing to speak out about issues that pertain to her community and other parts of the world.
Feature Image Via TED.com