MacArthur Fellows Program

Chimamanda Adichie

Fiction Writer | Class of 2008

Exploring the circumstances that lead to ethnic conflict in richly imagined novels and stories inspired by events in her native Nigeria.

Title
Fiction Writer
Location
Columbia, Maryland
Age
31 at time of award

Chimamanda Adichie is a young writer who illuminates the complexities of human experience in works inspired by events in her native Nigeria. Adichie explores the intersection of the personal and the public by placing the intimate details of the lives of her characters within the larger social and political forces in contemporary Nigeria. Dividing her time over the last decade between the United States and Nigeria, she is widely appreciated for her stark yet balanced depiction of events in the post-colonial era. In her most recent novel, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), Adichie unflinchingly portrays the horror and destruction of the civil war following the establishment of the Republic of Biafra. Using multiple narrative voices, a precise movement back and forth in time, and prose that is at once witty and empathetic, she immerses the reader in the psyches of her characters, whose loyalties to each other and their ideals are tested as their world gradually falls apart. In humanizing the Biafran tragedy, Adichie’s novel has enriched conversation about the war within Nigeria while also offering insight into the circumstances that lead to ethnic conflict. A writer of great promise, Adichie’s powerful rendering of the Nigerian experience is enlightening audiences both in her homeland and around the world.

Chimamanda Adichie received a B.A. (2001) from Eastern Connecticut State University, an M.A. (2003) from Johns Hopkins University, and an M.A. (2008) from Yale University. Her additional works include the novel Purple Hibiscus (2003) and short stories that have appeared in such publications as the New Yorker, Granta, and the Virginia Quarterly Review.

News About this Fellow
November 8, 2017
"Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (featuring Ta-Nehisi Coates)"
The Atlantic
Chimamanda Adichie, 2008 MacArthur Fellow
Ta-Nehisi Coates, 2015 MacArthur Fellow
October 20, 2017
"‘Janelle Asked to the Bedroom,’ a Micronovel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie"
The New York Times Style Magazine
Chimamanda Adichie, 2008 MacArthur Fellow
May 21, 2017
"15 Themes On Feminism From Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie"
The Huffington Post
Chimamanda Adichie, 2008 MacArthur Fellow
May 5, 2017
"In Conversation With Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie"
The New York Times
Chimamanda Adichie, 2008 MacArthur Fellow
March 23, 2017
"Number 42, World's Greatest Leaders"
Fortune Magazine
Chimamanda Adichie, 2008 MacArthur Fellow
March 10, 2017
"Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on Feminism"
Channel 4 News
Chimamanda Adichie, 2008 MacArthur Fellow
View all news

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Please credit: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

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