Americanah, Adichie's third novel, beat out four other finalists in the fiction category—Someone, the seventh novel by former National Book Award winner and Writing Seminars professor Alice McDermott; The Infatuations, by Javier Marias; A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki; and The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt.
The fifth of six children, Adichie was born in Nigeria and raised in Nsukka. She came to the United States to study at Eastern Connecticut State, Yale, and Johns Hopkins.
Here's a blurb about Adichie's Americanah from the NBCC's board of directors' blog:
Like multiple NBCC award winner Philip Roth, Adichie is audacious when writing about the immigrant experience, about love and sex, about bigotry and hate and invisibility. Americanah questions the boundaries we draw between races and genders and nations. Adichie suggests, obliquely, that we return to the essential human encounter. She holds up a mirror, and invites us to see ourselves.
Adichie's narrative voice continues to challenge oppressive systems of injustice. Last month, she made waves when she wrote a piece for The Scoop speaking out against Nigeria's anti-gay laws.