|Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie|
Adichie, Lagos, 2009
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie|
September 15, 1977
Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria
Half of a Yellow Sun
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born on 15 September 1977 in Enugu, Nigeria, the fifth of six children to Igbo parents, Grace Ifeoma and James Nwoye Adichie. While the family's ancestral hometown is Abba in Anambra State, Chimamanda grew up in Nsukka, in the house formerly occupied by Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe. Chimamanda's father, who is now retired, worked at the University of Nigeria, located in Nsukka. He was Nigeria's first professor of statistics, and later became Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University. Her mother was the first female registrar at the same institution. Chimamanda completed her secondary education at the University's school, receiving several academic prizes. She went on to study 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 nineteen, Chimamanda left for the United States. She gained a scholarship to study communication at Drexel University in Philadelphia for two years, and she went on to pursue a degree in communication and political science at Eastern Connecticut State University. While in Connecticut, she stayed with her sister Ijeoma, who runs a medical practice close to the university.
Chimamanda graduated summa cum laude from Eastern in 2001, and then completed a master's degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.
It is during her senior year at Eastern that she started working on her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, which was released in October 2003. The book has received wide critical acclaim: it was shortlisted for the Orange Fiction Prize (2004) and was awarded the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (2005).
Her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun (also the title of one of her short stories), is set before and during the Biafran War. It was published in August 2006 in the United Kingdom and in September 2006 in the United States. Like Purple Hibiscus, it has also been released in Nigeria.
Her collection of short stories, The Thing around Your Neck, was published in 2009. Chimamanda says her next major literary project will focus on the Nigerian immigrant experience in the United States.
Chimamanda is now married and divides her time between Nigeria, where she regularly teaches writing workshops, and the United States.
Awards and selected nominations
- 2002: Shortlisted for the Caine Prize for African Writing, for "You in America"
- 2002: Runner-up in the Commonwealth Short Story Competition, for "The Tree in Grandma's Garden"
- 2002: BBC Short Story Competition joint winner, for "That Harmattan Morning"
- 2003: O. Henry Prize for "The American Embassy"
- 2002/2003: David T. Wong International Short Story Prize (PEN Center Award), for "Half of a Yellow Sun"
- 2004: Hurston-Wright Legacy Award (Best Debut Fiction Category), for Purple Hibiscus
- 2004: Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, for Purple Hibiscus
- 2004: Longlisted for the Booker Prize, for Purple Hibiscus
- 2005: Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Best First Book (Africa), for Purple Hibiscus
- 2005: Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Best First Book (overall), for Purple Hibiscus
- 2007: Anisfield-Wolf Book Award (Fiction category), for 'Half of a Yellow Sun' (joint winner)
- 2007: PEN Beyond Margins Award, for Half of a Yellow Sun (joint winner)
- 2007: Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction for Half of a Yellow Sun
- 2008: Future Award, Nigeria (Young Person of the Year category)
- 2008: MacArthur Foundation genius grant (along with 24 other winners) 
- 2009: International Nonino Prize
- 2009: Longlisted for Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, for The Thing Around Your Neck
- 2009: Shortlisted for John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, for The Thing Around Your Neck
- 2010: Shortlisted for Commonwealth Writers' Prize: Best Book (Africa), for The Thing Around Your Neck
- The Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Website (Unofficial)
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, "Quality Street", Guernica Magazine
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, "Half of a Yellow Sun", Literary Potpourri[dead link]
- "Debut novel from Nigeria storms Orange shortlist", The Guardian
- "The new face of Nigerian literature?" BBC News
- Chimamanda Adichie speaks at TED: "The Danger of a Single Story", July 2009.
- Audio: Chimanda Adichie, on The Forum, BBC World Service discussion
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Commonwealth Lecture 2012, YouTube.
- "Why Are You Here?" in Guernica Magazine, January 2012