Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: “When you’re not a white male writing about white male things then somehow your work has to mean something”

by Rachel Baker on March 17, 2014

This is a good interview with Ghimamanda Ngozi Adichie about her 2013 novel “Americanah”. One of the fascinating things technically about this novel is the blogging format used by one of the characters. As a story, the novel spans Nigeria, England and the US.

Personally, I think this is going to be a good book to add to my stack.


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s 2013 novel “Americanah” crosses lots of borders. It spans three countries — the U.S., Nigeria and London — as lovers Ifemelu and Obinze meet, separate and meet again. But it also straddles the sometimes adversarial worlds of fiction and the Internet: entries from Ifemelu’s blog, “Raceteenth or Various Observations About American Blacks (Those Formerly Known as Negroes) by a Non-American Black,” get prominent placement amid the action. Ifemelu comes from Nigeria — where, she says, “race was not an issue” — and “Raceteenth” chronicles her experiences in a country where it very much is.

“Americanah” is a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist and was named one of the 10 best books of 2013 by the New York Times, but Adichie’s also gotten press lately for her social commentary. Beyoncé famously sampled her TED talk, “We should all be feminists.” And in February, she wrote an open letter criticizing a new Nigerian law imposing stiff penalties for gay couples who marry or show affection publicly. Adichie spoke to Salon about “Americanah,” the Internet and whether she’s a political writer.

Check out the remainder of the article here:

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