Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie born is a Nigerian novelist, writer of short stories, and nonfiction. She has written the novels Purple Hibiscus (2003), Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), and Americanah (2013), the short story collection The Thing Around Your Neck (2009), and the book-length essay We Should All Be Feminists (2014).
Early Life: She was born on 15 September 1977 in the city of Enugu in Nigeria to James Nwoeye & Grace Ifeoma Adichie. 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 the age of 19, Adichie left Nigeria for the United States to study communications and political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She received a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Connecticut State University, 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.
Achievements: Adichie was a Hodder fellow at Princeton University during the 2005–06 academic year. In 2008 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. She was also awarded a 2011–12 fellowship by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. In 2016 she was conferred an honorary degree – Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, by Johns Hopkins University. In 2017 she was conferred honorary degrees – Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, by Haverford College, and The University of Edinburgh. In 2018, she received an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, from Amherst College. 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 (2006), 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 and the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. Half of a Yellow Sun has been adapted into a film of the same title directed by Biyi Bandele, starring BAFTA award-winner and Academy Award nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor and BAFTA winner Thandie Newton, and was released in 2014. In 2010 she was listed among the authors of The New Yorker′s “20 Under 40” Fiction Issue. Adichie’s story “Ceiling” was included in the 2011 edition of The Best American Short Stories. Her third novel, Americanah (2013), was selected by The New York Times as one of “The 10 Best Books of 2013”. In April 2014, she was named as one of 39 writers aged under 40 in the Hay Festival and Rainbow Book Club project Africa39, celebrating Port Harcourt UNESCO World Book Capital 2014. In April 2017, it was announced that Adichie had been elected into the 237th class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the highest honors for intellectuals in the United States, as one of 228 new members to be inducted on 7 October 2017.
Legacy: Adichie spoke on “The Danger of a Single Story” for TED in 2009. It has become one of the top ten most-viewed TED Talks of all time, with more than fifteen million views. Adichie also spoke on being a feminist for TEDxEuston in December 2012 which has been viewed more than five million times, with her speech entitled, “We should all be feminists”. It initiated a worldwide conversation on feminism and was published as a book in 2014. It was sampled for the 2013 song “***Flawless” by American performer Beyoncé, where it attracted further attention. She shared her experiences of being an African feminist, and her views on gender construction and sexuality. Adichie said that the problem with gender is that it shapes who we are. She also said: “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”.