What Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Does


People poured in from all around the state to hear Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discuss her Bestselling book, Purple Hibiscus, at the One Maryland One Book event at Gaithersburg High School on Sept. 27th.

Many in the audience were excited to see her. “She’s so amazing, she’s fabulous. I’m so excited,” said Jennifer Nicholson, a volunteer from the Gaithersburg Book Festival. When Adichie finally came out on stage after a standing ovation, she asked for “all her Nigerians” to raise their hand, and dozens from the audience did so with cheers.

Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus, a story about a young Nigerian girl in an abusive home, was published in 2003 and quickly became a New York Time’s Bestseller. It was followed by two other books, Half a Yellow Sun and Americana. She most recently gained mainstream notoriety after her speech titled “We Should All Be Feminists” became one of the most-watched TEDtalks and even was featured as a sound byte in Beyonce’s song “Flawless”.

In the discussion, Adichie brought up topics ranging from toxic masculinity, abuse, sympathy to the abusive, to body image, domestic responsibility, and especially feminism. She spoke about her trying times when she emigrated to America for college in her book Americana; and although the event was about another book, members of the audience weren’t afraid to mention what Adichie’s career has done for them.

“You know, I’m an immigrant who came here four years ago from Cameroon,” said an audience member during the Q&A. “I just want to thank you, because I’ve watched so many of your youtube videos and your interviews, and I wanted to let you know that you have changed my life as an African immigrant and showed me that I can be someone.” Another stated at the beginning of her question, “I just wanted to say thank you to you especially because….I don’t think I would have been who I am today if I hadn’t been introduced to you in Junior High School.”

Her books are relatable to many, as is a book about herself and her interaction with the culture around her. It expands across age and ethnic, which is what makes it so important.