Along with the winners’ list, the top books recommended by independent booksellers for the summer were also unveiled.
By Helena Olori
Renowned Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, has been announced as the winner of this year’s Indie Book Award for non-fiction with her book, Notes On Grief, alongside three other winners for the Indie Book Awards 2023.
The winners were revealed at the awards ceremony which took place on the penultimate day of Independent Bookshop Week, organised by “Books Are My Bag” from 17th – 24th of June.
“We’re excited to reveal the winners of this year’s Indie Book Awards. Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver, Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Skandar and the Unicorn Thief by A.F. Steadman, and The Boy with Flowers in His Hair by Jarvis,” announced the organisers via a tweet.
Describing Adichie’s work, Mel Griffin, the chair of the adult categories judging panel, stated “It was a privilege to chair the 2023 Indie Book Awards, and the whole panel agreed that the shortlists were particularly strong this year, making the decision-making process challenging. However, in the end, we unanimously selected Notes on Grief by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as the non-fiction winner.”
“This utterly beautiful essay says so much in very few pages, and we found it extraordinarily powerful. Although it focuses on one individual’s experience of grief, we felt that it would speak to many people, transcending culture and circumstances, with one judge describing the reading experience as ‘cathartic’,” added Griffin.
In response to her win, Adichie expressed her heartfelt gratitude, saying, “I’m so grateful, I’m so moved, I’m so pleased to have Notes on Grief honoured with the Indie. And I think it is mostly because I love independent bookshops, and also because this book is so important to me. And I hope that it brings some kind of comfort to other people who have experienced grief.”
While Adichie outshined the five other authors shortlisted in the non-fiction category with her masterpiece, other remarkable authors were also recognised by booksellers from across the United Kingdom. Barbara Kingsolver secured the Fiction category win with her captivating retelling of Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield in Demon Copperhead. The book has already received accolades such as the Pulitzer Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction. Kingsolver’s novel impressed the judges with its powerful storytelling and the author’s ability to capture the voice of the young male protagonist.
A.F. Steadman won in the Children’s Fiction category with the thrilling adventure Skandar and the Unicorn Thief, while the Picture Book prize was awarded to Jarvis for the beautifully illustrated and sensitively-told story, The Boy with Flowers in His Hair.
The Indie Book Awards celebrate the exceptional paperback books of the summer, exclusively curated by independent booksellers who are experts in the field.