Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah Wins 2013 Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Fiction

What is the Heartland? A swath of land situated between the coasts? Sure, but it is also a place marked by richly developed cultural traditions and an incubator for fresh, new ideas. It's cities and small towns. It's apple pie and Alinea. It's a place to find a home and to lose yourself.
This year's Literary Prize and Heartland Prize winners — Edward Albee, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Thomas Dyja — express those sentiments with writing that reflects the variety of people, places and morals that make up the vast locale known as the Heartland. The awards, which are presented by the Chicago Tribune in partnership with the Chicago Humanities Festival, will be presented in November.

Adichie will receive the Heartland Prize for fiction for her novel, "Americanah." A native of Nigeria, Adichie writes about two Nigerians: Ifemelu, a driven, gorgeous girl who leaves to study in America and her love, Obinze, a pensive, careful man. When bureaucracy keeps Obinze out of America, he falls into a dangerous life in London, while Ifemelu pursues an education and thrives as a blogger. After years spent an ocean apart, the two reunite and fall in love, but their lives are not as carefree as they were when they were young.
The Heartland Prize for nonfiction will be given to Dyja for "The Third Coast." A detailed look at the cultural fruit that Chicago bore, Dyja's book tells the story of the change-makers who called the Windy City home. Mies van der Rohe, Ray Kroc, the Chess brothers and Hugh Hefner were just a few. In a Printers Row Journal review, Northwestern University lecturer Bill Savage called the book "thoroughly thought-out, exquisitely structured and beautifully written."

Chicago Tribune

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