Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Literary Birthday – 15 September – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Happy Birthday, ChimAmanda Ngozi Adichie, born 15 September 1977.


  1. I think you travel to search and you come back home to find yourself there.
  2. I have been writing since I was old enough to spell. I have never considered not writing.
  3. The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.
  4. Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.
  5. Racism should never have happened and so you don’t get a cookie for reducing it.
  6. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanise. Stories can break the dignity of a people. But stories can also repair that broken dignity.
  7. Why did people ask ‘What is it about?’ as if a novel had to be about only one thing.
  8. 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.
  9. Because of writers like Chinua Achebe and Camara Laye … I realised that people like me, girls with skin the colour of chocolate, whose kinky hair could not form ponytails, could also exist in literature.
  10. You can’t write a script in your mind and then force yourself to follow it. You have to let yourself be.
  11. The best novels are those that are important without being like medicine; they have something to say, are expansive and intelligent but never forget to be entertaining and to have character and emotion at their centre.
  12. I write from real life. I am an unrepentant eavesdropper and a collector of stories. I record bits of overheard dialogue.
  13. Our histories cling to us. We are shaped by where we come from.
  14. I am angry. We should all be angry. Anger has a long history of bringing about positive change.
  15. To choose to write is to reject silence.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian writer. Her best known novels are Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, and Americanah.

Source for image

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 15th September 2014