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Things Left Unsaid

Chimamanda NgoziAdichie: Achebe on Biafra, 11 October 2012

There Was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra 
by Chinua Achebe.
Allen Lane, 333 pp., £20, September 2012, 978 1 84614 576 6
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... one of the main reasons for the country’s continued backwardness, in my estimation. 2012, Chimamanda Ngozi...

Raised Eyebrows

Eleanor Birne: Chimamanda NgoziAdichie, 5 October 2006

Half of a Yellow Sun 
by Chimamanda NgoziAdichie.
Fourth Estate, 433 pp., £14.99, August 2006, 0 00 720027 7
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... Chimamanda NgoziAdichie’s first novel, Purple Hibiscus (2004), was ostensibly a coming of age story. A teenage girl is abused by her repressive Catholic father and, following a political upheaval, moves in with her aunt, at whose house she has a fuller life and discovers her own sexuality ...

I wouldn’t say I love Finland

Alexander Dziadosz: Love, Home, Country?, 24 March 2022

Voices of the Lost 
by Hoda Barakat, translated by Marilyn Booth.
Oneworld, 197 pp., £12.99, February 2021, 978 1 78607 722 6
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God 99 
by Hassan Blasim, translated by Jonathan Wright.
Comma, 278 pp., £9.99, November 2020, 978 1 905583 77 5
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... to appear on festival line-ups and reading lists alongside Viet Thanh Nguyen, Mohsin Hamid and Chimamanda NgoziAdichie. A similar moment of celebrity is the engine of God 99. The book is a series of short stories, framed as interviews between the narrator (also called Hassan) and other Iraqis, most of them ...


Elizabeth Lowry: Binyavanga Wainaina, 23 February 2012

One Day I Will Write about This Place 
by Binyavanga Wainaina.
Granta, 256 pp., £15.99, November 2011, 978 1 84708 021 9
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... the Zimbabwean NoViolet Bulawayo and the Nigerians Chika Unigwe, E.C. Osondu, Helon Habila and Chimamanda NgoziAdichie. To these writers politics and the vicissitudes of nation-building are less compelling subjects than the everyday task of self-individuation. Their cultural reference points are eclectic and ...

I have washed my feet out of it

Hilary Mantel: Growing up in Ghana, 21 October 2004

Hustling Is Not Stealing: Stories of an African Bar Girl 
by John Chernoff.
Chicago, 480 pp., £16, January 2004, 0 226 10352 8
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Exchange Is Not Robbery: More Stories of an African Bar Girl 
by John Chernoff.
Chicago, 425 pp., £16, November 2004, 0 226 10355 2
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Purple Hibiscus 
by Chimamanda NgoziAdichie.
Fourth Estate, 307 pp., £12.99, March 2004, 0 00 717611 2
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... who leaves the story in mid air. Fiction of a higher order is offered by the Nigerian writer Chimamanda NgoziAdichie, whose first book was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and longlisted for the Booker. Her novel begins with a reference to Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe’s great chronicle of dispossession and ...

Sheer Enthusiasm

Thomas Chatterton Williams: Zadie Smith, 30 August 2018

Feel Free: Essays 
by Zadie Smith.
Hamish Hamilton, 464 pp., £20, February 2018, 978 0 241 14689 7
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... count?’ These are questions we would all benefit from thinking through with care. Yet, much as Chimamanda NgoziAdichie provoked anger on the left by appealing for a more complicated interpretation of trans and cis-gendered women’s experience, Smith was attacked for failing to toe the rhetorical line. Her essay ...

Serious Battle and Slay

Kevin Okoth: ‘Glory’, 18 August 2022

by NoViolet Bulawayo.
Chatto, 416 pp., £18.99, April, 978 1 78474 429 8
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... Here, Bulawayo joins the long list of African novelists – Sembène, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Chimamanda NgoziAdichie, Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor and others – who argue that the project of nation-building or reconciliation requires a reimagining of the past. Destiny finishes her book, but the story doesn’t end ...

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