Chimamanda Adichie Biography.
Born Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on 15 September 1977 in Enugu state, Nigeria, this Igbo woman is the fifth child of six children. Her parents are James Nwoye Adichie and Grace Ifeoma. She traces her ancestry to Abba, Anambra State but Chimamanda grew up in Nsukka, in the house formerly occupied by the late renowned Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe.
Chimamanda’s father, now retired, worked at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He was the first professor of statistics in Nigeria, and later, he became the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University. Her mother was the first female registrar of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
Chimamanda completed her secondary education at the University’s school, where she received several academic prizes. She then proceeded to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka to study medicine and pharmacy at the University for a year and a half. During her time at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, she was the editor of The Compass, a magazine run by the University’s Catholic medical students.
Chimamanda left for the United States at the age of nineteen. Over there in the US, she gained a scholarship to study communication for two years at Drexel University in Philadelphia, and she went on to study communication and political science at Eastern Connecticut State University. During her time at the Eastern Connecticut State University, she also wrote articles for the university journal, the Campus Lantern. In Connecticut, Chimamanda 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 she bagged a master’s degree in creative writing at the famous Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.
It is noteworthy to mention that it was during her senior year at Eastern that she started working on her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, which was released in October 2003. This wonderful piece of literature that she put together 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 which also doubles as the title of one of her short stories, is set before and during the Nigerian-Biafran Civil War. It was first published in August 2006 in the United Kingdom and in September 2006 in the United States and it has also been released in Nigeria like Purple Hibiscus.
The distinguished Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was a Hodder fellow at Princeton University during the 2005/2006 academic year, and she earned an MA in African Studies from Yale University in 2008. She was awarded a fellowship in 2011/2012 by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, which allowed her to put finishing touches to her third novel, Americanah. The book was released to great critical acclaim in 2013.
Chimamanda has won numerous awards for her work in literature, she is married and she has a daughter. She resides in the United States but often comes to Nigeria to regularly teach writing workshops.