Renowned Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was some few weeks ago awarded the PEN Pinter Prize, a prize in honour of late Nobel laureate Harold Pinter.
The writer was presented with the prize last Tuesday, on October 9. The “Americannah” author at the event also delivered an address where she gave a call for people to speak out.
She said she did not believe “that art is a valid reason for evading the responsibilities of citizenship – which are to think clearly, to remain informed, and, sometimes, to act and speak”.
Her lecture was titled “Shut Up and Write” and she said:
“Art can illuminate politics. Art can humanise politics. Art can shine the light towards truth. But sometimes that is not enough. 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.”
Chimamanda who is also a feminist icon recently told the Frankfurt Book Fair on the 9th of October urging men to read books by women. She said,
“All over the world today women are speaking up. Their stories are still not really heard. Women are still invisible. Women’s experiences are still invisible.”