Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grew up during the 1980s in the university town of Nsukka, Nigeria. She moved to America to attend college and graduate school: she was a Hodder fellow at Princeton University during the 2005-2006 academic year and earned an M.A. in African Studies from Yale in 2008. She now splits her time between the U.S. and Nigeria, where she teaches writing workshops to school students.
Prior to the release of her first book, Adichie already was recognized internationally as a remarkable short story writer. Her critically acclaimed debut novel, Purple Hibiscus, chronicles the impact of politics and religion on a Nigerian family during civil war as seen through the eyes of a 15-year-old girl. The book “celebrates my culture,” she explains, including “eating and sharing food, central to our Igbo way of life.”
In Nigeria, Adichie’s second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, has helped inspire new, cross-generational communication about the Biafran war. In this and her other works, she seeks to instill dignity into the finest details of each character, regardless of their social standing, exposing along the way the deep scars of colonialism in Africa. Her newest book, The Thing Around Your Neck, is a brilliant collection of stories about Nigerians struggling to cope with both corruption in their home country and with their immigrant experiences abroad. “Adichie builds on the literary tradition of Igbo literary giant Chinua Achebe (Things Fall Apart)—when she found out that Achebe liked Half of a Yellow Sun, she says she cried for a whole day.” What he said about her rings true: “We do not usually associate wisdom with beginners, but here is a new writer endowed with the gift of ancient storytellers.”
Read more about Adichie on her official website. TeenTix Reviews AdichieSAL has partnered with TeenTix for several years. Among the many benefits we enjoy, besides more teens attending SAL events, are the reviews of our speakers by TeenTix writers. Read Jessica Beebe’s review of Chimamanda Adichie here.