Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, whose voice was sampled in Beyoncé’s hit “Flawless,” has won the National Book Critics Circle Award for her novel Americanah, BBC News reports. Americanah tells the story of a Nigerian woman who moves to the U.S. to pursue a college education.
“I don’t know race in the way an African American knows race,” Adichie said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. “Sometimes it takes an outsider to see something about your own reality that you don’t.”
Her second novel, 2006’s critically acclaimed Half of a Yellow Sun, which is set during the Biafran War of the late 1960s, has been adapted into an upcoming film starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Thandie Newton, according to BBC News.
Other winners include Sheri Fink’s book on Hurricane Katrina, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death In a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, which won for nonfiction. The winner in the biography category is Leo Damrosch’s Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World. Amy Wilentz’s Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter From Haiti received the prize for autobiography.