Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Rising star of world literature, Nigerian fiction writer
NYS Writers Institute, October 16, 2007
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Assembly Hall, Campus Center
8:00 p.m. Reading | Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, internationally acclaimed Nigerian-born author, will read from and discuss her new novel of the Biafran civil war, “Half of a Yellow Sun” (2006), which Joyce Carol Oates called “a worthy successor to such 20th century classics” as “Things Fall Apart” and “A Bend in the River,” on Tuesday, October 16, 2007 at 8:00 p.m. in the Recital Hall, Performing Arts Center, on the UAlbany uptown campus.
Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m. she will present an informal seminar in the Assembly Hall, Campus Center, on the uptown campus. The events are sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute and are free and open to the public.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie earned widespread international acclaim for her first novel, “Purple Hibiscus” (2003), a Nigerian coming-of-age story about a teenaged girl growing up in a privileged household in a nation plagued by poverty and political strife. Kambili, her brother Jaja, and her timid mother live in the shadow of Papa, their politically popular father, a champion of human rights in public, but unpredictable, abusive and often violent in the privacy of
The novel received the Commonwealth Writers Prize. The “Washington Post Book World” called it, “a breathtaking debut.... . [Adichie] is very much the 21st-century daughter of that other great Igbo novelist, Chinua Achebe.” The “Boston Globe” said, “Adichie’s understanding of a young girl’s heart is so acute that her story ultimately rises above its setting and makes her little part of Nigeria seem as close and vivid as Eudora Welty’s Mississippi.”
Adichie’s second novel is “Half of a Yellow Sun” (2006), which follows the fates of three individuals during Nigeria’s bloody Biafran civil war. The protagonists are Ugwu, an impoverished child soldier conscripted into the ragtag Biafran army, and Olanna and Kainene, twin daughters of a well-educated, upper class family.
Critic Edmund White said the book, “deserves to be nominated for the Booker Prize” (it ultimately was). Joyce Carol Oates called it, “a worthy successor to such 20th century classics” as “Things Fall Apart” and “A Bend in the River.” “Time” magazine called it, “A gorgeous, pitiless account of love, violence and betrayal during the Biafran war.” The “New Yorker” reviewer said, “The characters and landscape are vividly painted, and details are often used to heartbreaking effect: soldiers, waiting to be armed, clutch sticks carved into the shape of rifles; an Igbo mother, in flight from a massacre, carries her daughter’s severed head, the hair lovingly braided.”
The novel was co-winner of the 2007 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and the 2007 PEN “Beyond Margins” Award, and winner of the United Kingdom’s Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction.
Adichie was co-winner of the 2002 BBC Short Story Competition for “Harmattan Morning,” and received the 2003 O. Henry Prize for her short story, “American Embassy.” Her work has been featured in “Granta,” “Zoetrope,” “Iowa Review” and “Calyx.”
For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.nyswritersinstitute.org/