Monday, September 13, 2010

Author spotlight: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


This year I have had the pleasure of reading all three of Adichie's books - Half of a Yellow Sun, Purple Hibiscus and most recently, the short story collection The Thing Around Your Neck.  Adichie has received many accolades, including winning the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2007 and being named one of the New Yorker magazine's "20 under 40," this past summer.  At just 33 years old, Adichie is a literary hotshot, but if you watch her on YouTube you'll likely be impressed with her humility. 

I enjoyed all of her books, but my favorite was Half of a Yellow Sun, a story about two sisters and what happens to them around the time of the Biafran War in Nigeria.  This is a book that is bursting with vivid detail and impassioned characters.  Be forewarned that there is civil unrest and violence described in the narrative.

Adichie masterfully captures both quiet moments and loud ones, the dynamics of political movements and the dynamics of family.  Her books are fresh, bold, and written with a gracefulness that belies the effort it must take to write such wonderful stories.

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