A brief biographical note on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Enugu, Nigeria, in 1977. She was the fifth of six children and grew up in the house formerly occupied by the Nigerian author Chinua Achebe. Her parents were both very successful. His father worked at the University of Nigeria, and became the first professor of statistics; he later became Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University. Her mother, in turn, was the first female registrant at the University. Chimamanda was a brilliant student from the very beginning. After leaving school with several academic prizes, she started Medicine and Pharmacy at the University of Nigeria. One and a half year later she moved to the United States, where she obtained a scholarship to study Communication at Drexel University in Philadelphia. Following her degree, she did a Master Course in Creative Writing at John Hopkins University, in Baltimore. She also holds an MA in African Studies from Yale University. Her first novel came out in 2003 under the title Purple Hibiscus, which received the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best First Book in 2005. Her second novel, settled in the years before and during the Biafran War, is entitled Half of a Yellow Sun (2006). She has also published a number of short stories, some of them having been collected in The Thing Around Your Neck (2009). Her writings have received numerous awards and distinctions, including The Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction (2007) and the McArthur Foundation ‘genius grant’ (2008). She has also recently been awarded a 2011-2012 fellowship by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, at Harvard University. Without a doubt, she can be considered one of the most prolific Nigerian female writers at the moment. Her success worldwide is helping to bring the reality of her native country to every corner, at the same time as she is contributing to build a Nigerian identity in its own right.

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