Author Highlight: Death and Beauty in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Kristen Twardowski

Half of a Yellow Sun

Death can mark the ways we write and the ways we read. In a recent presentation at the Royal Festival Hall in London, Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said,

“I’ve always felt one step removed from my present. Even at family gatherings I’m sort of always watching everyone. There’s a part of me that holds back and watches – there’s a part of me that’s not engaged because I’m watching. Because there’s a storytelling thing in my soul that requires that.”

And Adichie has proven that the storyteller in her soul knows what it is doing. It has been nearly 10 years since she published her masterful novel Half of a Yellow Sun, which tells some of the stories of the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970). For Adichie, these stories are personal. Both of her grandfathers died in that war, and so the book is “about the story of how…

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