6:52 am - Sunday November 19, 2017

PORT-HARCOURT GIRL, GLORY OF NIGERIA IN AMERICA: NIGERIAN Genius CHINELO OKPARANTA WIN 2017 Great Immigrant Honoree AWARD from Carnegie Corporation of New York…Working as Assistant Professor of English & Creative Writing (Fiction) at Bucknell University *Remains Research Fellow of C. Graydon and Mary E. Rogers Faculty *Received BS from Pennsylvania State University, MA from Rutgers University, and MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop *Recipient of Colgate University Olive B. O’Connor Fellow in Fiction as well as University of Iowa’s Provost’s Postgraduate Fellowship in Fiction *Nominated for a US Artist Fellowship in 2012, Awarded additional fellowships and faculty appointments/visiting professorships at Columbia University, Purdue University, Middlebury College (Bread Loaf’s John Gardner Fellow in Fiction), Howard University (Hurston/Wright Foundation Summer Writing Workshop Fiction Faculty), City College of New York, and Southern New Hampshire University * Winner: 2014 Lambda Literary Award, 2016 Lambda Literary Award, 2016 Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Award in Fiction, 2016 Inaugural Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award from the Publishing Triangle, and a 2014 O. Henry Prize *Finalist for 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing, 2013 Society of Midland Authors Award and 2014 Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative in Literature BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/FOREIGN BUREAU CHIEF, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

PORT-HARCOURT GIRL, GLORY OF NIGERIA IN AMERICA:

NIGERIAN Genius CHINELO OKPARANTA WIN 2017 Great Immigrant Honoree AWARD from Carnegie Corporation of New York…Working as Assistant Professor of English & Creative Writing (Fiction) at Bucknell University

*Remains Research Fellow of C. Graydon and Mary E. Rogers Faculty
*Received BS from Pennsylvania State University, MA from Rutgers University, and MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop
*Recipient of Colgate University Olive B. O’Connor Fellow in Fiction as well as University of Iowa’s Provost’s Postgraduate Fellowship in Fiction
*Nominated for a US Artist Fellowship in 2012, Awarded additional fellowships and faculty appointments/visiting professorships at Columbia University, Purdue University, Middlebury College (Bread Loaf’s John Gardner Fellow in Fiction), Howard University (Hurston/Wright Foundation Summer Writing Workshop Fiction Faculty), City College of New York, and Southern New Hampshire University
* Winner: 2014 Lambda Literary Award, 2016 Lambda Literary Award, 2016 Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Award in Fiction, 2016 Inaugural Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award from the Publishing Triangle, and a 2014 O. Henry Prize
*Finalist for 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing, 2013 Society of Midland Authors Award and 2014 Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative in Literature

 

BY GEORGE ELIJAH OTUMU/FOREIGN BUREAU CHIEF, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

HER STORY is very inspiring. She is extremely very beautiful and so intelligent academically. She can be described as ‘Beauty and Brain.’ Port-Harcourt born Nigerian, pretty looking CHINELO OKPARANTA has scored another first in United States being the only Nigerian among the 2017 winners of Great Immigrants Honorees Award, an exclusive ceremony organised by Carnegie Corporation of New York, America’s oldest grant making foundation. Other Carnegie winners include: Daron Acemoglu, Professor of Economics at MIT, Hushang Ansray, Iranian Statesman/philanthropist, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Ghanaian Attorney in UK and few others.

Chinelo, author of many popular books, has won almost every awards in the literary world: winner of 2014 Lambda Literary Award, 2016 Lambda Literary Award, 2016 Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Award in Fiction, 2016 Inaugural Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award from the Publishing Triangle, and a 2014 O. Henry Prize.

For the records, Carnegie Corporation of New York was established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding. In keeping with this mandate, the Corporation’s work focuses on the issues that Andrew Carnegie considered of paramount importance: international peace, the advancement of education and knowledge, and the strength of our democracy. Carnegie Corporation of New York is a philanthropic foundation.

This Nigerian genius without a single scandal received her BS from Pennsylvania State University, MA from Rutgers University and MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She is a recipient of Colgate University Olive B. O’Connor Fellow in Fiction as well as that of the University of Iowa’s Provost’s Postgraduate Fellowship in Fiction.

Chinelo was nominated for a US Artists Fellowship in 2012, awarded additional fellowships and faculty appointments/visiting professorships at Columbia University, Purdue University, Middlebury College (Bread Loaf’s John Gardner Fellow in Fiction), Howard University (Hurston/Wright Foundation Summer Writing Workshop Fiction Faculty), City College of New York, and Southern New Hampshire University.

She has been awarded residencies by the Jentel Foundation, the Hermitage Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Lannan Foundation (Marfa), as well as Hedgebrook. This highly cerebral Nigerian is currently Assistant Professor of English & Creative Writing (Fiction) at Bucknell University, where she is also C. Graydon and Mary E. Rogers Faculty Research Fellow.

Regarding some of her achievements, Chinelo is a winner of a 2014 Lambda Literary Award, a 2016 Lambda Literary Award, the 2016 Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Award in Fiction, the 2016 Inaugural Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award from the Publishing Triangle, and a 2014 O. Henry Prize.

Other honors includes receiving shortlisting for the 2017 International DUBLIN Literary Award, a 2017 Amelia Bloomer Project Selection (of the American Library Association), nomination for the 2016 Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Legacy Award, and a nomination for the 2016 NAACP Image Award in Fiction.

Her debut short story collection: ‘Happiness, Like Water’, was cited as an editors’ choice in the New York Times Book Review and was named on the list of ‘The Guardian’s Best African Fiction of 2013’. The book was nominated for the Nigerian Writers Award (Young Motivational Writer of the Year), long-listed for the 2013 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award and was a finalist for the 2014 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award as well as the Etisalat Prize for Literature.

Also, Chinelo was a finalist for the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing, the 2013 Society of Midland Authors Award, and the 2014 Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative in Literature.

She has published work in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, the Kenyon Review, AGNI, and other venues, and was named one of Granta’s six New Voices for 2012. In 2017, Chinelo was named one of Granta’s Best of Young American Novelists. ‘Under the Udala Trees’ is her first novel.

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