illustrated portrait of Igbo Nigerian author Chinua Achebe

Chinua Achebe

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What literary awards has Chinua Achebe received?

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In October of 1999, Chinua Achebe was awarded the thirty-second Saint Louis Literary Award, joining other previous winners such as Tennessee Williams, Eudora Welty, and Saul Bellow. Three years later, in 2002, Achebe won the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, an international peace prize awarded by a foundation whose aim is to promote tolerance and understanding throughout the international community.

Just five years later, in 2007, Achebe was awarded the prestigious Man Booker International Prize; this is a prize awarded biennially—every two years—to an author of fiction who has produced a distinguished body of work. Three years later, in 2010, Achebe won the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, awarded to an individual who has contributed to the world's beauty and to humanity's experience of life.

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Chinua Achebe received numerous literary awards over the course of his long and successful writing career. He won the Dayton Literary Peace Prize in 2010 for his collection of autobiographical essays The Education of a British-Protected Child. His first major literary honor was the Margaret Wong Memorial Prize in 1959 for arguably his most famous work, Things Fall Apart. His general contribution to literature was honored in 2007 with the award of the prestigious Man International Booker Prize.

As well as being honored on the international stage, Achebe also received a number of prizes in relation to this work as an author from a Commonwealth country. In 1964 he was awarded the New Statesman Jock Campbell Award for Commonwealth Writers for Arrow of God, the third instalment in his African Trilogy. In 1972 he was the joint winner of the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for his collection Beware Soul Brother.

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