(courtesy: REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski)
Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian novelist, was awarded the Man Booker International Prize 2007. He surpassed the nominees like Margaret Atwood, Dorris Lessing, Michael Ondaatje, Philip Roth, Salman Rushdie. The judging panel consisted of Elaine Showalter, Nadine Gordimer and Colm Tóibin. This prize is an international literary award given every two years. It is bestowed upon a living author of any nationality for fiction published in English or one available in English translation. The cash prize for this prestigious award is $120,000. Achebe himself was not present for the award ceremony held in Oxford on June 28, 2007.
Achebe, now 76 years old, is best known for his first novel. 'Things Fall Apart' written in 1958. The other of his famous novels is 'Anthills of the Savannah' published more than 30 years later.
Achebe is pained at the misrepresentation of Africans in literature and he has desire to change it. He was in news for his criticism of Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness', in which he claimed there was racism and misrepresented the Africans.
Achebe says on being awarded the prize: "It means what I have written has made some impact somewhere and I think this is why we're in the business of writing. We want to tell our story."