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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

2007 Jun 6, Nigeria’s Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie won Britain’s Orange Prize for fiction by women for her book “Half of a Yellow Sun,” becoming the first African to take the award in its 12-year history.

The ‘half of a yellow sun’ is the symbol of the Republic of Biafra, appearing on both its national flag and military uniforms. This novel follows the course of the Nigerian-Biafran civil war through the experiences of the ethnically Igbo characters, Olanna, Odenigbo, Kainene, and Ugwu.

The novel takes place in Nigeria prior to and during the Nigerian Civil War (1967–70). The effect of the war is shown through the dynamic relationships of five people’s lives including twin daughters of an influential businessman, a professor, a British citizen, and a houseboy. After Biafra’s declaration of secession, the lives of the main characters drastically changed and were torn apart by the brutality of the civil war and decisions in their personal lives.