Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian writer whose works include novels, short stories, and nonfiction. Her books have been translated into over thirty languages. She has received numerous awards and distinctions, including the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction (2007) and a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (2008). In 2015, Adichie was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Enugu, Nigeria. She grew up on the campus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where her father was a professor and her mother was the first female Registrar. After studying medicine for a time in Nsukka, in 1997 she left for the United States at the age of 19.
Adichie studied communication and political science at Eastern Connecticut State University (B.A., 2001). Splitting her time between Nigeria and the US, she received a Master’s Degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Arts degree in African History from Yale University.
During her studies, she published a collection of poems in 1997 (Decisions) and a play (For Love of Biafra) in 1998, using the name Amanda N. Adichie. Later her essays and short stories appeared in various publications, including The New Yorker, Granta, The O. Henry Prize Stories, the Financial Times, and Zoetrope.
Adichie's debut novel Purple Hibiscus (2003), won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. It was also short-listed for the 2004 Orange Prize. Purple Hibiscus is set in postcolonial Nigeria and is the coming-of-age story of a young girl Kambili who is abused and controlled by her father.
The second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), won the Orange Prize and was a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist and a New York Times Notable Book.
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. Adichie's grandfather died in a refugee camp during the war, and she said she wrote the book as a tribute to him. The novel was adapted into a film of the same title directed by Nigerian filmmaker Biyi Bandele and was released in 2014
Another notable Americanah (2013) won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was named one of The New York Times' Top Ten Best Books of 2013. Americanah tells the story of a young Nigerian woman, Ifemelu, who immigrates to the United States to attend university.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is also the author of a short story collection, The Thing around Your Neck (2009), and of two books of non-fiction, We Should All Be Feminists (2014) and Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions (2017).
She has delivered two landmark TED talks: her 2009 TED Talk The Danger of A Single Story and her 2012 TEDx Euston talk We Should All Be Feminists. The last became the basis for the book of the same name.
In 2017, Fortune Magazine named her one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.
At the moment Ms. Adichie is working on her first children's book. Alfred A. Knopf will publish Mama’s Sleeping Scarf, the debut children’s picture book by the author, writing as Nwa Grace James, and illustrated by Joelle Avelino, on September 5, 2023. The book will be published in hardcover and ebook formats, and as an audiobook, by Penguin Random House.
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