10 February 2012

Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (born 1977) is a Nigerian writer. She has been called "the most prominent" of "a procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors which is succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature".

Adichie's first novel, Purple Hibiscus (2003), received excellent reviews and was given numerous awards. Her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), was awarded the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her third book, The Thing Around Your Neck (2009), is a collection of short stories. Adichie's story, Ceiling, was included in the 2011 edition of The Best American Short Stories.

Inspired by Nigerian history and tragedies all but forgotten by recent generations of westerners, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novels and stories are jewels in the crown of diasporan literature.

Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice - and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

I hope you'll take the time to listen to this very articulate and eloquent young lady, as she speaks of the many misconceptions of Africa and Africans. The 18-minute video is well worth your time!

Personal note: I have read Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun. They are both excellent.

1 comment:

ordinary gal said...

Thanks for posting that TED talk - especially appreciated having also read her novels - very powerful, got lots of inspiration from that for when I next head to UK and have to stand up and present Kenya and Kenyans. Excellent.