Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a phenomenal and provocative writer (the best type).
She splits her time between America & Nigeria, penning novels that bring life to somewhat obscured histories, obscured courtesy European colonialism.
She speaks of the civil war of the sixties, and how it destroys the lives of a professor, Odenigbo, and his lover, Olanna, a brilliant woman who steals the attention of his houseboy, Ugwu, a thirteen-year-old with a taste for the high life. It also breaks Richard, an Englishman, and his empowered lover, Kainene, apart. The story of these individuals (no better word can describe the rich characterization) is in her densely-layered Half of a Yellow Sun (2007).
She has also written Purple Hibiscus, (2003) about a sheltered girl who is sent from her conservative father’s compound to the freer world of her aunt, a professor; and The Thing Around Your Neck (2009), an anthology described on her Web site as
“twelve dazzling stories that explore the ties that bind men and women, parents and children, Africa and the United States.”
Her latest book is Americanah, (2013) is about the aftereffects of choices made by Nigerians students in the U.S. for college. As Adichie is often known to do, when the novel flashes forward only a few years, the former best of friends are worlds apart, despite their close proximity after a reunion.
Why did I select Adichie as my latest pure heroine?
For many reasons, not the least being that she is an intelligent, empowered woman, writing about intelligent, empowered women, also discussing timely topics in a unique perspective that only citizens of the world can really have.
Also, I am envious of her duel-citizenship.
Yet, with all of her accolades, including the O. Henry Award, a Top 10 Book of the Year by the New York Times, an NPR “Great Reads” Book, she is still extremely personable, as exemplified by her most famous TEDtalk.