Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Adichie chimamanda download 2.JPG
Born Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
(1977-09-15) 15 September 1977 (age 37)
Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria
Occupation Writer
Nationality Nigerian
Ethnicity Igbo
Period 2003–present
Notable works Purple Hibiscus
Half of a Yellow Sun
Americanah
Spouse Ivara Esege
from the BBC programme Front Row, 3 May 2013.[1]

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talks about The Thing Around Your Neck on Bookbits radio.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Listeni/ɪmɑːmɑːndə əŋɡzi ʌdj/;[note 1] born 15 September 1977) is a Nigerian writer.[2] She has been called "the most prominent" of a "procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors [that] is succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature".[3]

Personal life and education[edit]

Born in the city of Enugu, she grew up the fifth of six children in an Igbo family in the university town of Nsukka in southeastern Nigeria, where the University of Nigeria is situated. While she was growing up, her father James Nwoye Adichie was a professor of statistics at the university, and her mother Grace Ifeoma was the university's first female registrar.[4] Her family's ancestral village is in Abba in Anambra State.[5]

Adichie studied medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria for a year and a half. During this period, she edited The Compass, a magazine run by the university's Catholic medical students. At age 19, Adichie left Nigeria for the United States to study communications and political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia; she transferred to Eastern Connecticut State University to be near her sister, who had a medical practice in Coventry. She received a bachelor's degree from Eastern, with the distinction of summa cum laude in 2001.

In 2003, she completed a master's degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University. In 2008, she received a Master of Arts degree in African studies from Yale University.

Adichie was a Hodder fellow at Princeton University during the 2005–06 academic year. In 2008 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. She has also been awarded a 2011–12 fellowship by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.

Adichie, who is married, divides her time between Nigeria, where she teaches writing workshops, and the United States.[6]

Writing career[edit]

Adichie published a collection of poems in 1997 (Decisions) and a play (For Love of Biafra) in 1998. She was shortlisted in 2002 for the Caine Prize[7] for her short story "You in America".[8]

In 2003, her story "That Harmattan Morning" was selected as a joint winner of the BBC Short Story Awards, and she won the O. Henry prize for "The American Embassy". She also won the David T. Wong International Short Story Prize 2002/2003 (PEN Center Award) and a 2007 Beyond Margins Award for her novel "Half of a Yellow Sun".[9]

Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus (2003), received wide critical acclaim; it was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction (2004) and was awarded the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (2005).

Her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, named after the flag of the short-lived nation of Biafra, is set before and during the Nigerian Civil War. It received the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction. Half of a Yellow Sun has been adapted into a film of the same title directed by Biyi Bandele, starring BAFTA winner and Academy Award nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor and BAFTA award-winner Thandie Newton, and was released in 2014.[10]

Her third book, The Thing Around Your Neck (2009), is a collection of short stories.

In 2010 she was listed among the authors of The New Yorker′s "20 Under 40" Fiction Issue.[11] Adichie's story, "Ceiling", was included in the 2011 edition of The Best American Short Stories.

Her third novel, Americanah (2013) was published and was selected by the New York Times as one of The 10 Best Books of 2013.[12]

In April 2014 she was named as one of 39 writers aged under 40[13] in the Hay Festival and Rainbow Book Club project celebrating Port Harcourt UNESCO World Book Capital 2014.[14]

Adichie says on feminism and writing, "I think of myself as a storyteller, but I would not mind at all if someone were to think of me as a feminist writer... I'm very feminist in the way I look at the world, and that worldview must somehow be part of my work."[15]

Lectures[edit]

Adichie, Fairfax, 2013

Adichie spoke on "The Danger of a Single Story" for TED in 2009.[16] On 15 March 2012, she delivered the "Connecting Cultures" Commonwealth Lecture 2012 at the Guildhall, London.[17] Adichie also spoke on being a feminist for TEDxEuston in December 2012, with her speech entitled, "We should all be feminists".[18] This speech was sampled for the 2013 song "***Flawless" by American performer Beyoncé, where it attracted further attention.

"We should all be feminists" TEDx talk[edit]

"We should all be feminists" was a TEDx talk that was given by Adichie in 2012. She shared her experiences of being an African feminist, and her views on gender construction and sexuality. Adichie believes that the problem with gender is that it shapes who we are.[19]

″I am angry. Gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. We should all be angry. Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change, but in addition to being angry, I’m also hopeful because I believe deeply in the ability of human beings to make and remake themselves for the better." [20]

Various parts of Adichie's talk were sampled in Beyoncé's song "Flawless" in December 2013.[21]

Adichie commented about her speech being featured in "Flawless" in an interview with NPR.org. She believes it is great that the young generation starts talking about feminism.[22]

The use of Adichie's speech in the song has brought many critiques against Beyoncé calling herself a feminist. Adichie defended Beyoncé by asserting that people who say they are feminists are indeed feminists.[23]

Distinctions[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Work Result
2002 Caine Prize for African Writing "You in America" Nominated[A]
Commonwealth Short Story Competition "The Tree in Grandma's Garden" Nominated[B]
BBC Short Story Competition "That Harmattan Morning" Won[C]
2002/2003 David T. Wong International Short Story Prize (PEN American Center Award) "Half of a Yellow Sun" Won
2003 O. Henry Prize "The American Embassy" Won
2004 Hurston-Wright Legacy Award: Best Debut Fiction Category Purple Hibiscus Won
Orange Prize Nominated[A]
Booker Prize Nominated[D]
Young Adult Library Services Association Best Books for Young Adults Award Nominated
2004/2005 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize Nominated[A]
2005 Commonwealth Writers' Prize: Best First Book (Africa) Won
Commonwealth Writers' Prize: Best First Book (overall) Won
2006 National Book Critics Circle Award Half of a Yellow Sun Nominated
2007 British Book Awards: "Richard & Judy Best Read of the Year" category Nominated
James Tait Black Memorial Prize Nominated
Commonwealth Writers' Prize: Best Book (Africa) Nominated[A]
Anisfield-Wolf Book Award: Fiction category Won[C]
PEN Beyond Margins Award Won[C]
Orange Broadband Prize: Fiction category Won
2008 International Impac Dublin Award Herself Nominated
Reader's Digest Author of the Year Award Won
Future Award, Nigeria: Young Person of the Year category[24] Won
MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant (along with 24 other winners)[25] Won
2009 International Nonino Prize[26] Won
Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award The Thing Around Your Neck Nominated[D]
John Llewellyn Rhys Prize Nominated[A]
2010 Commonwealth Writers' Prize: Best Book (Africa) Nominated[A]
Dayton Literary Peace Prize Nominated[B]
2011 ThisDay Awards: "New Champions for an Enduring Culture" category Herself Nominated
2013 Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize: Fiction category Americanah Won
National Book Critics Circle Award: Fiction category[27][28][29] Won
2014 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction[30] Nominated[A]
Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction[31] Nominated[A]
MTV Africa Music Awards 2014: Personality of the Year[32] Herself Nominated
A^ Shortlisted
B^ Runner-up
C^ Joint win
D^ Longlisted

Other recognitions[edit]

  • 2010 Listed among The New Yorker′s "20 Under 40"
  • 2013 Listed among New York Times′ "Ten Best Books of 2013", for Americanah
  • 2013 Listed among BBC's "Top Ten Books of 2013", for Americanah
  • 2013 Foreign Policy magazine "Top Global Thinkers of 2013"[33]
  • 2013 Listed among the New African′s "100 Most Influential Africans 2013"
  • 2014 Listed among Africa39 project of 39 writers aged under 40

Bibliography[edit]

Discography[edit]

Guest Appearances

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Although Adichie's name has been pronounced a variety of ways in English, the following attempts to best approximate the Igbo pronunciation of it for English speakers: IPA /ɪmɑːmɑːndə əŋɡzi ʌdj/, US dict: chĭ·mâ·mân·də (ə)ng·gō·zē ŭ·dēch·yā

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie". Front Row. 3 May 2013. BBC Radio 4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01s4vfn. Retrieved 18 January 2014.
  2. ^ Nixon, Rob (1 October 2006). "A Biafran Story". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 January 2009. 
  3. ^ James Copnall, "Steak Knife", The Times Literary Supplement, 16 December 2011, p. 20.
  4. ^ http://www.npr.org/2014/03/18/291133080/news-maker
  5. ^ http://www.l3.ulg.ac.be/adichie/cnabio.html
  6. ^ "Picture of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  7. ^ "The Caine Prize for African Writing". Caineprize.com. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  8. ^ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie page at abbatown.net
  9. ^ "Awards & Nominations", Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie website; PEN.org Half of a Yellow Sun, full story
  10. ^ Leslie Felperin, "Half of a Yellow Sun: London Review", Hollywood Reporter, 10/11/2013.
  11. ^ "20 Under 40: Q. & A.: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie". The New Yorker. June 14, 2010. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  12. ^ http://infolodge.net/blog/blog/2013/12/18/americanah-by-chimamanda-adichie-features-in-ny-times-10-best-books-of-2013/
  13. ^ List of artists, Africa39.
  14. ^ Port Harcourt UNESCO World Book Capital 2014 website.
  15. ^ Hobson, Janell (2014). "Storyteller". Ms. (Summer): 26–29. 
  16. ^ TEDGlobal 2009. "Chimamanda Adichie: "The danger of a single story", TED, July 2009". Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  17. ^ Commonwealth Lecture 2012: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “Reading realist literature is to search for humanity”, Commonwealth Foundation
  18. ^ "We should all be feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at TEDxEuston". YouTube. 12 April 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  19. ^ "We should all be feminists: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at TEDxEus". YouTube.
  20. ^ "TED | We should all be feminists – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie at TEDxEuston (transcript)". Vialogue.
  21. ^ [1]
  22. ^ "Feminism Is Fashionable For Nigerian Writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie", NPR, 18 March 2014.
  23. ^ Britni Danielle, "Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Defends Beyoncé: ‘Whoever Says They’re Feminist is Bloody Feminist", Clutch, 20 March 2014.
  24. ^ "Rachel Ogbu, "Tomorrow Is Here", ''Newswatch'', 27 January 2008.". Newswatchngr.com. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  25. ^ Name Search › (27 January 2008). "Chimamanda Adichie – MacArthur Foundation". Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  26. ^ "African Writing Online, No. 6". 17 May 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2013. 
  27. ^ Kirsten Reach (January 14, 2014). "NBCC finalists announced". Melville House Books. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  28. ^ Admin (January 14, 2014). "Announcing the National Book Critics Awards Finalists for Publishing Year 2013". National Book Critics Circle. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  29. ^ "National Book Critics Circle Announces Award Winners for Publishing Year 2013". National Book Critics Circle. March 13, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014. 
  30. ^ Mark Brown (7 April 2014). "Donna Tartt heads Baileys women's prize for fiction 2014 shortlist". The Guardian. Retrieved April 11, 2014. 
  31. ^ Hillel Italie (June 30, 2014). "Tartt, Goodwin awarded Carnegie medals". Seattle Times. Associated Press. Retrieved July 1, 2014. 
  32. ^ "Mafikizolo, Uhuru, Davido lead nominations for MTV Africa Music Awards". Sowetan LIVE. Retrieved 2014-04-17. 
  33. ^ "The Leading Global Thinkers of 2013". Foreign Policy. Foreign Policy. Retrieved 14 December 2013. 

External links[edit]