Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Nigerian Writer

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian-American writer whose work on fiction and feminism has taken the world by storm. Chimamanda was born on the 15 of September 1977. At age 10, Chinua Achebe’s ‘Things Fall Apart’ captured her interest, and her love for literature waxed stronger; this led her down a journey of self-discovery. Chimamanda’s journey led her to create literary masterpieces that perfectly portray the history of the past, life’s difficulties, and the struggle to fit in.

Life Facts

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born on September 15, 1977.
  • Chimamanda married Ivara Esege in 2009, and they have a child.
  • Chimamanda was born Enugu, Nigeria.
  • Though she claimed to be agnostic, Chimamanda eventually returned to being catholic.

Interesting Facts

  • Chimamanda is a Feminist who strives to empower women globally.
  • Chimamanda completed her secondary education at the University of Nigeria Secondary School.
  • Chimamanda lost her grandparents to the Nigerian civil war.

Famous Books Written By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda’s mastery of literature and ability to create great stories from life’s events makes her one of the best writers of modern times. With her books receiving excellent accolades, she has shown that her books are worthy of being called exquisite.

‘Purple Hibiscus’ is Chimamanda’s first book, published in 2003. The novel begins in a postcolonial Nigeria plagued by economic and political instability. ‘Purple Hibiscus’ tells the story of a 15-year-old girl, Kambili, who faces life’s difficulties as a teenager. Living with an abusive father who constantly beats her, her brother, Jaja, and her mother, Kambili’s family plunges deeper and deeper into darkness. However, both Kambili and her brother spend some time at her aunt’s house, where they experience an environment of freedom and unity. Kambili explores her sexuality as she falls in love with Father Amadi, a young priest, while at her aunt’s house. Unable to cope with the abuse, Kambili’s mother poisons her father, leading to his death. Her brother, Jaja, takes the fall for his father’s death and gets sent to prison; this causes Kambili’s mother to deteriorate psychologically.

‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ is Chimamanda’s second book, published in 2006. The book narrates how the Nigerian civil war impacted the lives of four fictional characters, Ugwu, a village boy; Odenigbo, a revolutionary professor; Olanna, the daughter of a wealthy Igbo chief; and Kainene, a business-oriented woman and Olanna’s twin sister. The book begins in a newly independent Nigeria whose political instability eventually leads to a civil war that causes the death of many easterners. With the declaration of the war comes a rapid change in each character’s life. They face pain, suffering, depression, and the horrors of war.

‘Americanah’ is Chimamanda’s third novel, published in 2013. The story is set in Nigeria under military dictatorship and explores the life of Ifemelu and Obinze, secondary school lovers who part ways after Nigeria’s political instability worsens. On reaching the US, Ifemelu faces racism and experiences what it means to be a black in America. Though Obinze tries to join her in the US, the 911 incident leads to his visa getting denied. He eventually travels to London, where he becomes an undocumented immigrant. Years later, Obinze returns to Nigeria and becomes a successful businessman. Ifemelu returns too, and they try to light up the flames of their love again.

Early Life

Chimamanda was born into an Igbo family of six children, where she was the fifth child. Chimamanda’s life revolved around the university town of Nnsuka, where her father worked as a professor of statistics. Her mother worked as the university registrar, and Chimamanda attended the University’s secondary school. Upon completing her secondary education, Chimamanda began studying medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria Nnsuka. After a year and a half, she left for the United States to study communications and political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Chimamanda eventually transferred to Eastern Connecticut State University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in 2001. Chimamanda began her master’s degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, and she received her master’s in 2003. She eventually moved to Yale University for a master’s education in African Studies in 2008. That same year, Chimamanda got awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, and in 2011, she was awarded a fellowship by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Chimamanda got married to Ivara Esege in 2009. In 2016, she stated that she had given birth to a girl.

Literary Career

Chimamanda’s career as an author began in 2003, with her first novel ‘Purple Hibiscus.’ Chimamanda got inspired by Chinua Achebe’s novel ‘Things Fall Apart.’ As early as 1997, Chimamanda began her literary journey publishing poems about love and Biafra. In 2002, her short story, ‘You in America’ was shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing. That same year, Chimamanda’s story ‘That Harmattan Morning’ jointly won BBC’s short story awards.

In 2003, Chimamanda published her first book, ‘Purple Hibiscus.’ The book got shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. Three years later, her second novel, ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ won the Orange Prize for Fiction. Chimamanda eventually began writing on feminism and women empowerment, and in 2017, she published the book ‘Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions.’