Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah was published on May 14, 2013, nine years from today. It’s the story of a Nigerian woman named Ifemelu confronting race relations and navigating relationships in the United States when she immigrates there for college.
Americanah is a must-read if you haven’t read it yet, and if you have, then here are three other crucial works of hers!
We Should All Be Feminists (2014)
This compact little essay book is another staple text from Adichie. It was adapted from a viral TEDx Talk she delivered in London and is full of arguments and musings on feminism. She argues that feminism is important for everyone, not just women, and that addressing patriarchy and gender inequality benefits all of society in the long run.
The 64-page manifesto is pretty ubiquitous in bookstores and on bookshelves, and definitely one of the most widely read feminist texts of the last decade. However, it’s important to consume critically if you are going to read it — Adichie came under fire in 2020 for accusations of transphobia by some of her students.
Purple Hibiscus (2003)
Purple Hibiscus was Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s debut novel. Set in Nigeria, it follows fifteen-year-old protagonist Kambili Achike as she and her family struggle with her abusive father. The novel deals with themes of abuse, religion, and post-colonialism. It was longlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2004.
Notes On Grief (2021)
Notes on Grief is a memoir written after the death of Adichie’s father. It’s a timely piece, as his passing took place during the height of COVID-19, and her family was greatly isolated from one another.
Notes on Grief is compact like We Should All Be Feminists but packs a lot of profundity into its meditations on loss.