The Nigerian novelist Chinua Achebe has won the $300,000 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, which recognizes artists who have had an extraordinary impact in their field. The award, named after the silent film stars, will be delivered at a ceremony on Oct. 27 in New York. Past winners include Robert Redford, Ornette Coleman, Merce Cunningham and Frank Gehry. Mr. Achebe’s books are among the most widely read in African literature. His 1958 novel, “Things Fall Apart,” has sold more than 10 million copies, and he has also won the Man Booker International Prize for Fiction and the Nigerian National Merit Award.