Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe has been announced as the 2010 recipient of the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, one of the world’s largest and most prestigious awards in the arts. As award recipient, Achebe will receive a cash prize of $300,000 and a silver medallion on October 27 at the Hudson Theatre, Millennium Broadway in New York City.
Achebe, one of Africa’s greatest writers, is best known for Things Fall Apart, a book that has sold over 10 million copies and been translated into more than 50 languages. He was honored for his impact on “the international diaspora of African fiction and voices.”
Commenting on the award, Achebe said, “When I was a boy, growing up in Nigeria, becoming a novelist was a far-away dream.”
“Now it is a reality for many African writers, not just myself. The Gish Prize recognizes the long journey my fellow colleagues and I have taken, and I am proud and grateful for that,” he said.
Established in 1994 by the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize Trust and administered by JPMorgan Chase Bank as trustee, the Prize is given annually to “a man or woman who has made an outstanding contribution to the beauty of the world and to mankind’s enjoyment and understanding of life.”
The Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize pays tribute to trailblazers who have redefined their art and pushed the boundaries of excellence in their field. Previous recipients have shaped the cultural landscape in drama, music, dance, art, architecture, lighting design, film, and literature.
Past recipients of the award include:
- Frank Gehry, architect, 1994
- Ingmar Bergman, film director, 1995
- Robert Wilson, artist and director, 1996
- Bob Dylan, singer/songwriter, 1997
- Ornette Coleman, jazz innovator, 2004
- Peter Sellars, theater, opera and festival director, 2005
- Robert Redford, actor, 2008
To read more about the award, visit http://www.gishprize.com/index.html.
Read Achebe’s profile here.