Author Ngugi wa Thiong’o first African to receive 2022 PEN/Nabokov Award

Author Ngugi wa Thiong’o first African to receive 2022 PEN/Nabokov Award

Ngugi wa Thiong’o, a renowned author, will be the first African to receive the PEN/Nabokov Award for Achievement in International Literature in 2022.
The honor was given to the 84-year-old author by judges David Treuer, Laila Lalami, and Mónica de la Torre.
The author of “Weep not, Child” will also walk away with $50,000 (Ksh.5.6 million), with the judges praising his work for its honesty and empathy.
Ayad Akhtar, President of PEN America, praised Thiong’o as “a trailblazer and exceptional interpreter of our time and of the eternal poignancies of the human condition” in a press statement.
The judges further said that “his refusal to be silenced and his insistence on the value of indigenous languages has inspired a generation of younger writers.”
Thiong’o, who has been a perennial Nobel Peace Prize contender, has written numerous works including plays, memoirs and novels.
The “River in Between” author will be honored alongside American comedian and screenwriter Elaine May and Playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury. They will receive the PEN/Mike Nichols Writing for Performance Award and the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award respectively.
The annual award is sponsored by Dmtiri Nabokov and named in honor of his father Vladimir Nabokov.
Founded in 2016, it recognizes living authors whose canon whether written in or translated to English represents the highest level of achievement in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and/or drama, and is of enduring originality and consummate craftsmanship.

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