Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grew up in Nsukka, Nigeria. Her work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared in various publications, including The O. Henry Prize Stories, 2003, The New Yorker, Granta, the Financial Times, Zoetrope and Farafina magazine. She is the winner of numerous international prizes, including a 2008 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the 2007 Orange Broadband Prize for Half of a Yellow Sun, and the 2005 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Purple Hibiscus. Americanah is her latest book.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (born 15 September 1977) is a Nigerian writer of novels, short stories, and nonfiction. In 2008 she was awarded a MacArthur Genius Grant. She was described in the Times Literary Supplement as “the most prominent” of a “procession of critically acclaimed young anglophone authors [that] is succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature”.
Personal life and education
Adichie, who was born in the city of Enugu, grew up the fifth of six children in an Igbo family in the university town of Nsukka. Nsukka is in Enugu State, southeast Nigeria, where the University of Nigeria is situated. While she was growing up, her father, James Nwoye Adichie, was a Professor of Statistics at the university, and her mother, Grace Ifeoma, was the university’s first female registrar. Her family’s ancestral village is in Abba in Anambra State.
Adichie studied medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria for a year and a half. During this period, she edited The Compass, a magazine run by the university’s Catholic medical students. At the age of 19, Adichie left Nigeria for the United States to study communications and political science at Drexel University in Philadelphia. She soon transferred to Eastern Connecticut State University to be near her sister, who had a medical practice in Coventry. She received a bachelor’s degree from Eastern, with the distinction of summa cum laude in 2001.
In 2003, she completed a master’s degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University. In 2008, she received a Master of Arts degree in African Studies from Yale University.
Adichie was a Hodder fellow at Princeton University during the 2005–06 academic year. In 2008 she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. She was also awarded a 2011–12 fellowship by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University.
Adichie divides her time between Nigeria, where she teaches writing workshops, and the United States. In 2016 she was conferred an honorary degree – Doctor of Humane letters, honoris causa, by Johns Hopkins University.
In a 2 July 2016 interview with the Financial Times she said that she had a baby daughter.