Author Profile: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

**This article was originally published in part on my Women Writers blog in September 2008. That blog is now closed. I have updated this post to include Adichie’s latest work which was just published this month.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born September 15, 1977 in the town of Enugu in Nigeria, but grew up in the University town of Nsukka. Her first book – Purple Hibiscus – was set mostly in Nsukka. At the age of 19, Adichie left Nigeria to live in the United States where she attended several colleges, eventually earning a Masters degree in creative writing at John Hopkins University. She currently attends Yale University where she is pursuing an MA in African Studies.

Of her early writing, Adichie says:

I didn’t ever consciously decide to pursue writing. I’ve been writing since I was old enough to spell, and just sitting down and writing made me feel incredibly fulfilled. -From Adichie’s website

Her awareness of Nigerian ethnic issues is prominent in her fiction, as are the challenges which women in Africa face. Perhaps it is not surprising that Adichie’s voice is being compared to Chinua Achebe.

Her most notable work is perhaps Half of A Yellow Sun (published in 2006 by Knopf/Anchor) which won her the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction. Set in Biafra before and during the Biafran war, the novel is a powerful work of fiction. Her first novel – Purple Hibiscus (published in 2003) – won her recognition as Best First Book in 2005 for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. The novel is heartbreaking and beautifully written.

Adichie’s work:

ThingAroundYourNeckThe Thing Around Your Neck (published June 16, 2009)

Purple Hibiscus (2003)

Half of a Yellow Sun (2006)


  • Washington Post Article: The Color of an Awkward Conversation, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (published June 8, 2008) – Explores her thoughts on being black in America
  • The Observer Article: My Old Man, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (published June 15, 2008) – Thoughts on her father
  • CBC Article: The Untold Story, by Chimamanda Ngoi Adichie (published October 25, 2006) – Thoughts on the Civil War in Nigeria
  • New Yorker Article: Sierra Leone – 1997 (published June 12, 2006) – Memories of a houseboy

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  1. I need to read her. I have Half of a Yellow Sun, I even started it at one point and time, but I have never read it…

  2. I love Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie! She is one of my favourite authors. I have read all her books, and am still trying to decide which one I like best – I awarded them all 4.5/5 stars!

    Which one do you like best?

  3. PS. I love your new blog layout!

    • Jenny on June 23, 2009 at 08:08

    Not to be shallow or anything (I read and liked Purple Hibiscus!), but I love her hair! I am so envious of her braids!

    • Teddy on June 25, 2009 at 20:47

    I haven’t read any of her books yet but they are all on my TBR. I recently read a short story of hers which I really enjoyed!

    I really like your new layout. It’s so clean and bright looking.

    • Wendy on June 28, 2009 at 09:24

    Kailana: She is such a fantastic writer – and Half of a Yellow Sun is a stunning novel.

    Jackie: My favorite was Half of a Yellow Sun. I gave it a five stars! Thanks for the compliment on my blog layout – although that is all Michelle…I can take no credit!

    Jenny: *laughing* She does have great hair, doesn’t she? And look at her skin – it is flawless. I’m completely jealous!

    Teddy: Oh, you will really like her novels…Thanks for the compliments on the new look here (although, as I told Jackie, that is all Michelle’s doing!)

    • I luv half of yellow sun.she is wonderful. Ikenna. on October 1, 2009 at 03:55

    She’s a great writer.

    • Wendy on October 4, 2009 at 08:33

    Ikenna: I agree 🙂

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