"I write from real life. I am an unrepentant eavesdropper and a collector of stories. I record bits of overheard dialogue."
About The Author
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Enugu, Nigeria in 1977. She grew up on the campus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where her father was a Professor and her mother was the first female Registrar. She studied medicine for a year at Nsukka and then left for the US at the age of 19 to continue her education on a different path.
She graduated summa cum laude from Eastern Connecticut State University with a degree in Communication and Political Science.
She has a Master’s Degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins University and a Master of Arts degree in African History from Yale University. She was awarded a Hodder fellowship at Princeton University for the 2005-2006 academic year, and a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute of Harvard University for the 2011-2012 academic year. In 2008, she received a MacArthur Fellowship.
She has received honorary doctorate degrees from Eastern Connecticut State University, Johns Hopkins University, Haverford College, Williams College, the University of Edinburgh, Duke University, Amherst College, Bowdoin College, SOAS University of London, American University, Georgetown University, Yale University, Rhode Island School of Design, and Northwestern University.
Ms. Adichie’s work has been translated into over thirty languages.
Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus (2003), won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), won the Orange Prize. Her 2013 novel Americanah won the US National Book Critics Circle Award, and was named one of The New York Times Top Ten Best Books of 2013.
She has delivered two landmark TED talks: her 2009 TED Talk The Danger of A Single Story and her 2012 TEDx Euston talk We Should All Be Feminists, which started a worldwide conversation about feminism, and was published as a book in 2014.
Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, was published in March 2017.
Her most recent work, Notes On Grief, an essay about losing her father, has just been published.
She was named one of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2015. In 2017, Fortune Magazine named her one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders. She is a member of both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Ms. Adichie divides her time between the United States and Nigeria, where she leads an annual creative writing workshop.
For a detailed bibliography, please see the independent “The Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Website” maintained by Daria Tunca.
BBC Short Story Competition 2002 joint winner, for 'That Harmattan Morning'
O. Henry Prize 2003, for 'The American Embassy'
David T. Wong International Short Story Prize 2002/2003 (PEN Center Award), for 'Half of a Yellow Sun'
Hurston/Wright Legacy Award 2004 (Best Debut Fiction Category), for Purple Hibiscus
Commonwealth Writers' Prize 2005: Best First Book (Africa), for Purple Hibiscus
Commonwealth Writers' Prize 2005: Best First Book (overall), for Purple Hibiscus
Anisfield-Wolf Book Award 2007 (fiction category), for Half of a Yellow Sun (joint winner with Martha Collins, for Blue Front)
PEN 'Beyond Margins' Award 2007, for Half of a Yellow Sun (joint winner with Ernest Hardy for his essay collection Blood Beats, Vol. 1, Harryette Mullen for her poetry anthology, Recyclopedia, and Alberto Ríos for his poetry collection, Theater of Night)
Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction 2007, for Half of a Yellow Sun
2008 MacArthur Foundation 'genius' grant (along with 24 other winners)
2009 International Nonino Prize
2013 Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize (fiction category), for Americanah
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award 2013 (fiction category), for Americanah
Winner of the 'Best of the Best' of the second decade of the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize for Fiction), 2015, for Half of a Yellow Sun
Mary McCarthy Award, Bard College, USA, 2017
Winner of 'Le Grand Prix de l'héroïne Madame Figaro' 2017, for the French translation of Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions (Chère Ijeawele, ou un manifeste pour une éducation féministe)
Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, 2018
PEN Pinter Prize, 2018
Women's Prize for Fiction 'Winner of Winners' (25 years), for Half of a Yellow Sun, 2020
Future... Award (Young Person of the Year category), 2008
Girls Write Now Awards Groundbreaker honoree, 2015
Silverbird Special Achievement Award (joint winner with Desmond Majekodunmi and Alistair Soyode), 2016
Harper's Bazaar's Women of the Year Award, 2017
Recipient of the Leadership Award during The Women's Center's 32nd Annual Leadership Conference, 2018
Global Hope Coalition's Thought Leadership Award, 2018
Action Against Hunger Humanitarian Award, 2018
Everett M. Rogers Award, 2019
UN Foundation Global Leadership Award, 2019
Bookcity Milano Prize, 2019
Belle van Zuylenring Award, 2020
Woman of the Decade Award, ThisDay Nigeria, 2020
Africa Freedom Prize 2020 handed out by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, 14 December 2020
Nominations for Literary Awards
Shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing 2002, for 'You in America'
Runner-up in the Commonwealth Short Story Competition 2002, for 'The Tree in Grandma's Garden'
Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction 2004, for Purple Hibiscus
Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2004, for Purple Hibiscus
Nominated for the YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) Best Books for Young Adults Award (2004), for Purple Hibiscus
Shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize 2004/2005, for Purple Hibiscus
Nominated for the 33rd Annual National Book Critics Circle Prize (2006), for Half of a Yellow Sun
Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize 2007: Best Book (Africa), for Half of a Yellow Sun
Nominated for the British Book Awards 2007, category 'Richard & Judy Best Read of the Year', for Half of a Yellow Sun
Nominated for the James Tait Black Memorial prize 2007, for Half of a Yellow Sun
Longlisted for the International Impac Dublin Award 2008, for Half of a Yellow Sun
Nominated for the Reader's Digest Author of the Year Award 2008
Longlisted for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award 2009, for The Thing around Your Neck
Shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize 2009, for The Thing around Your Neck
Shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize 2010: Best Book (Africa), for The Thing around Your Neck
Nominated for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize 2010, for The Thing around Your Neck (runner-up)
Shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Book Prize for Fiction, 2014, for Americanah
Nominated for the 2014 Forbes Africa 'Person of the Year' Award
Nominated for the 2014 YNaija! Person of the Year Award
Shortlisted for the International Impac Dublin Award 2015, for Americanah
Nominations for Other Awards
Nominated for the 2011 ThisDay Awards, 'New Champions for an Enduring Culture' category
Nominated for the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards, 'Personality of the Year' category
Nominated for the 2015 Forbes Africa Person of the Year Awards
Nominated for the 2017 New African Woman Awards, Woman of the Year
Listed among The New Yorker's '20 Under 40', 2010
Listed among the 'Ten Best Books of 2013', New York Times Book Review, for Americanah
Listed among the 'Top Ten Books of 2013', BBC, for Americanah
Listed among the '100 Most Influential Africans 2013', New African
Listed among the 'Leading Women of 2014' by CNN
Listed among the '100 Most Influential People' by Time Magazine, 2015
Listed among the '100 Dynamic Women' by Arise Magazine, 2015
Included in Vanity Fair's International Best Dressed List, 2016
Winner of the 'One Book, One New York Programme', for Americanah, 2017
Included in Fortune Magazine's List of 50 World Leaders, 2017
Winner of the 'One Maryland, One Book' Programme, for Purple Hibiscus, 2017
Contributor to Genius: 100 Visions of the Future, a 3D-printed book celebrating Albert Einstein
Listed among the best books of 2017 by NPR Books and Audible, for Dear Ijeawele
Selected for 'One Maryland, One Book', for Purple Hibiscus, 2017
Featured on PBS's 'The Great American Read', for Americanah, 2018
Included in Barack Obama's recommended summer reading list, for Americanah, 2018
Listed among the New York Times' "15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century", for Americanah, 2018
Listed among the '100 Novels That Shaped Our World' by the BBC, for Half of a Yellow Sun, 2019
Listed among Time Magazine's '10 Best Fiction Books of the 2010s', for Americanah, 2019
Listed among the '100 Most Influential Africans', Africa Report (number 4)
Listed among the 'World's Most Inspiring People in 2019' by OOOM Magazine
Listed among the '20 Women Who Will Shape Events in Nigeria in 2020', ThisDay, 2020
Honorary Doctorates & Academic Distinctions
Honorary doctorate, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, Connecticut, USA, 12 May 2015
Barnard Medal of Distinction, New York, USA, 17 May 2016
Honorary doctorate, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, 18 May 2016
Elected as a Foreign Honorary Member into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 12 April 2017 (inducted 7 October 2017)
Honorary degree, Haverford College, Pennsylvania, USA, 13 May 2017
Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, 28 August 2017
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree, Duke University, North Carolina, USA, 13 May 2018
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree, Amherst College, Massachusetts, USA, 20 May 2018
Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree, Bowdoin College, Maine, USA, 26 May 2018
Honorary Doctor of Literature (DLit) degree, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London, UK, 27 July 2018
Honorary Degree, American University in Washington DC, USA, 11 May 2019
Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree, Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA, May 2019
Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts degree, Rhode Island School of Design, USA, 1 June 2019
Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa, Yale University, USA, 10 June 2019
Honorary Degree, Northwestern University, USA, 21 June 2019
Honorary Degree, University of Pennsylvania, 18 May 2020