“Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has attracted widespread acclaim for her fiction about her native Nigeria. Christina Patterson meets a writer wise beyond her years.”
From The Independent:
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie nearly missed the e-mail announcing that Africa’s greatest living novelist was her latest fan. “I was sitting in an internet café,” she explains, “and I was about to pass this one by, when I clicked on it and saw it was from Chinua Achebe’s son, Chidi. ‘Daddy read your Purple Hibiscus and loves it’ he said. I couldn’t believe it!”. When she heard his response to her second novel, she cried. “We do not usually associate wisdom with beginners,” said Achebe, in a quote now emblazoned on the colourful cover of Half of a Yellow Sun, (Fourth Estate, £14.99), “but here is a new writer endowed with the gift of ancient storytellers”. Adichie, he adds “came almost fully made”.
“He sent that quote to my editor in New York,” says Adichie. “Afterwards, he told her that he didn’t believe that a person that age could write that book.” I, too, am finding it quite hard to believe that the girl sitting opposite me is the author of this magisterial novel about one of the most painful episodes in Nigeria’s history, a novel that could – should – have made the Booker longlist this week. Adichie is 28, but she looks much younger.