Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie bio, family, controversy, books and facts

Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie bio, family, controversy, books and facts

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian writer who writes novels, short stories, and non-fiction pieces. She is one of the authors whose works attract a new generation of readers to African literature. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages, making her one of the most renowned writers of her time.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie attends the Dior Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2020 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 20, 2020 in Paris, France. Photo: Francois Durand
Source: Getty Images

Who is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie? Chimamanda is a multifaceted woman who has penned some of the greatest books in the past two decades. Apart from being a natural storyteller, she is also a vocal feminist who has redefined how feminism is viewed in the twenty-first century. Book by book, she has left a mark on the hearts of many of her readers who want to know all about her.

Profile summary

  • Name: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Born: 15 September 1977
  • Age: 44 (as of 2021)
  • Place of birth: Enugu, Nigeria
  • Profession: Author
  • Parents: James Nwoye Adichie and Grace Ifeoma
  • Husband: Ivara Esege
  • Nationality: Nigerian, American
  • Religion: Christian
  • Gender: Female
  • Ethnicity: Black, African
  • Education: Drexel University, Eastern Connecticut State University, Yale University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Nigeria, Nsukka
  • Marital status: Married
  • Twitter: @ChimamandaReal
  • Instagram: @chimamanda_adichie
  • Facebook: @chimamandaadichie
  • Highest qualification: Master’s degree, Honorary degrees

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Who is Chimamanda Adichie?

Adichie was born in Enugu, Nigeria, in 1997 as the fifth born in a family of six children. Growing up, she lived on the University of Nigeria campus, where her father was a professor and her mother was the first female registrar. Her family’s ancestral home is in a village in Abba.

Educational background

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's education was quite substantial. She had her secondary education at the University of Nigeria Secondary School in Nsukka. After that, she enrolled at the University of Nigeria, where she studied medicine and pharmacy for a year and a half. While she was there, she was the editor of the school magazine.

At the age of nineteen, Adichie moved to the United States to study at Drexel University in Philadelphia, where she pursued a degree in Communications and political science. However, after a while, she transferred to Eastern Connecticut State University to study near her sister. In America, the budding novelist countered racism which became a huge motivating factor in her works.

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In 2001, she received her bachelor’s degree with a distinction from the university. She then enrolled for a master’s degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University. She graduated in 2003 and got another Master of Arts degree in African Studies from Yale University in 2008.

Her remarkable academic life earned her a Hodder fellowship at Princeton University for the 2005-2006 academic year. In 2008, she received a MacArthur Fellowship. She was also awarded a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute of Harvard University for the 2011-2012 academic year. Her impressive career has also earned her honorary degrees from the following schools:

  • Eastern Connecticut State University
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Haverford College
  • Williams College
  • The University of Edinburgh
  • Duke University
  • Amherst College
  • Bowdoin College
  • SOAS University of London
  • American University
  • Georgetown University
  • Yale University
  • Rhode Island School of Design
  • Northwestern University

Chimamanda’s net worth

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda Adichie attends the 2018 Action Against Hunger Gala at 583 Park Avenue on October 30, 2018 in New York City. Photo: Jared Siskin
Source: Getty Images

What is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's net worth? Adichie has an alleged net worth of $5 million which she has amassed from her various works. Her books have sold in almost thirty languages which goes to show the type of influence she has.

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's books and short stories

What is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie known for? This phenomenal woman is known for her books that have changed lives all over the world. In 2007, Adichie published a collection of poems called Decisions and a Play named For Love of Biafra. This was just the beginning of her amazing career where she went ahead to write these novels:

1. Purple Hibiscus

This book tells the story of Fifteen-year-old Kambili and her elder brother, who leads a privileged life in Enugu, Nigeria. It is a tale of the emotional turmoil of adolescence, the powerful bonds of family, and the bright promise of freedom.

Is Purple Hibiscus a true story? Unfortunately, no, the book is not a true story. Although it draws heavily on certain aspects o Chimamanda’s background, the book is far from autobiographical.

2. Half of a Yellow Sun

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This is an epic tale of the lives of three characters swept up in the turbulence of the decade. It is a tale about moral responsibility, the end of colonialism, ethnic allegiances, class and race—and about how love can complicate them all.

3. The Thing Around Your Neck

This is a short story collection of twelve books that explore the ties that bind men and women, parents and children, Africa and the United States.

4. Americanah

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie follows Ifemulu and Obinze, two young lovers who are forced to flee military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Their journeys are startlingly different until they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria and reignite their love for each other and their homeland.

5. We Should All Be Feminists

This book tackles the meaning of feminism in the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness.

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6. Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

This book by the best-selling author is a powerful new statement about feminism written as a letter to a friend. It has fifteen invaluable suggestions that are compelling, direct, funny, and perceptive.

Apart from being a great novelist, Adichie has also penned some of the most outstanding short fiction books in history. Her short stories include the following:

  • Checking out – 2013
  • Apollo – 2015
  • The Arrangements: A work of Fiction – 2016
  • Notes on Grief – 2020
  • Zikora - 2020

Awards and nominations

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Nigerian writter Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie during 'Los Estereotipos Están Para Romperlos' meeting organizated by El Pais Newspaper on November 04, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. Photo: Borja B. Hojas
Source: Getty Images

During her long tenure as an author and her other endeavours. Adichie has been nominated for a lot of awards and has won most of them. Here are the awards that she has won:

  • BBC measuring Competition
  • David T. Wong International Short Story Prize (PEN American Center Award)
  • O. Henry Prize
  • Hurston-Wright Legacy Award: Best Debut Fiction Category
  • Commonwealth Writers' Prize: Best First Book (Africa)
  • Commonwealth Writers' Prize: Best First Book (overall)
  • Anisfield-Wolf Book Award: Fiction category
  • PEN Beyond Margins Award
  • Orange Broadband Prize: Fiction category
  • Reader's Digest Author of the Year Award
  • Future Award, Nigeria: Young Person of the Year category
  • MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant
  • International Nonino Prize
  • Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize: Fiction category
  • National Book Critics Circle Award: Fiction category
  • PEN Pinter Prize

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Quotes by Chimamanda Adichie

When you are a great author, people will inevitably use your words to uplift each other. This is done by great one-liners that are picked for your work and used for that purpose. Chimamanda is a great author who is also a feminist and advocates for the rights of the LGBTQ community. Here are some great Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's quotes.

I think you travel to search and you come back home to find yourself there.
Racism should never have happened, and so you don't get a cookie for reducing it.
Some people ask: “Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights or something like that?” Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general—but to choose to use the vague expression of human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women.

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You must never behave as if your life belongs to a man. Do you hear me?” Aunty Ifeka said. “Your life belongs to you and you alone.
If you don't understand, ask questions. If you're uncomfortable about asking questions, say you are uncomfortable about asking questions and then ask anyway. It's easy to tell when a question is coming from a good place. Then listen some more. Sometimes people just want to feel heard. Here's to possibilities of friendship and connection and understanding.
The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Ted Talk

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaks on stage during the annual Make Equality Reality Gala hosted by Equality Now on November 19, 2019 in New York City. Photo: Bryan Bedder
Source: Getty Images

In 2009, Adichie hosted a Ted Talk titled Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story. In the talk, Adichie talks about how hearing and judging a culture based on a single story puts everyone at risk of a critical misunderstanding. Cultures are composed of many overlapping stories that take time to tell.

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In 2012, Ngozi gave a TEDx talk titled: We should all be feminists, delivered in London. She shared her experiences as an African feminist and her views on gender construction and sexuality. Many people were interested in what she had to say, given that her video has been viewed more than six million times.

Who is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's husband?

Her husband is Ivara Esege, a Nigerian British American medical doctor based in the USA. The couple tied the knot in 2009 and welcomed a baby girl into the world in 2016. However, due to privacy reasons, the couple has chosen to keep their child's identity a secret.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie burst onto the literary scene with her remarkable debut novel, Purple Hibiscus, which critics hailed as one of the best novels to come out of Africa in years. Since then, she has wowed the hearts of her readers with her graceful storytelling, knowing compassion, and fierce insight into her characters’ hearts.

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