Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie(born 15 September 1977) is a Nigerian writer of, short stories, and nonfiction.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie reading at 2013 Fall for the Book

Quotes[edit]

  • “ We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man. Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men.
  • “ The only reason you say that race was not an issue is because you wish it was not. We all wish it was not. But it’s a lie. I came from a country where race was not an issue; I did not think of myself as black and I only became black when I came to America. When you are black in America and you fall in love with a white person, race doesn’t matter when you’re alone together because it’s just you and your love. But the minute you step outside, race matters. But we don’t talk about it. We don’t even tell our white partners the small things that piss us off and the things we wish they understood better, because we’re worried they will say we’re overreacting, or we’re being too sensitive. And we don’t want them to say, Look how far we’ve come, just forty years ago it would have been illegal for us to even be a couple blah blah blah, because you know what we’re thinking when they say that? We’re thinking why the fuck should it ever have been illegal anyway? But we don’t say any of this stuff. We let it pile up inside our heads and when we come to nice liberal dinners like this, we say that race doesn’t matter because that’s what we’re supposed to say, to keep our nice liberal friends comfortable.
  • “I don’t think sexism is worse than racism, it’s impossible even to compare…It’s that I feel lonely in my fight against sexism, in a way that I don’t feel in my fight against racism. My friends, my family, they get racism, they get it. The people I’m close to who are not black get it. But I find that with sexism you are constantly having to explain, justify, convince, make a case for.”
  • "In Nigeria I'm not black…We don't do race in Nigeria. We do ethnicity a lot, but not race. My friends here don't really get it. Some of them sound like white Southerners from 1940. They say, 'Why are black people complaining about race? Racism doesn't exist!' It's just not a part of their existence."
  • "My father tells a story about his father dying in a refugee camp. His father was a titled man in Igboland, which meant that he was a great man. He had one of the highest titles a man could have. But his hometown fell, so he had to leave and go to a refugee camp, and he died and he was buried in a mass grave. Which is just heartbreaking for a man, particularly a man like him. My father, who's the first son, and who takes his responsibilities very seriously, couldn't go to bury his father because the roads were occupied. He was in a different part of Biafra and so it took a year until ... he could go to the refugee camp. ... And he goes there and he says, 'I want to know where my father was buried.' And somebody waved very vaguely and said, 'Oh we buried the people there.' So it was a mass grave. So many people had died. And my father says he went there and he took a handful of sand, and he said he's kept the sand ever since. For me, that was one of the most moving things I had ever heard."
  • The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognising how we are. Now imagine how much more happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves if we didn't have the weight of gender expectations.
  • Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.
  • "Lagos as a certain authencity because it is indifferent to ingratiating itself;it will treat your love with an embrace,and your hate with a shrug.what you see in Lagos is what Lagos truly is"[1] (UK Esquire Magazine 2019)
  • "When the dark days come - and they will - try and remember this: it will pass,it will definitely pass"[2] (RISD commencement 2019)
  • "This is the kind of capitalism I hate.This is bullying capitalism.Look, I am Igbo, I come from a trading culture.My people are merchant and I'm all for buying and selling. But capitalism has to be a fair exchange."[3] (Paris review,2019)


Americanah (2013)[edit]

  • Why did people ask "What is it about?" as if a novel had to be about only one thing.
  • "Race doesn't really exist for you because it has never been a barrier. Black folks don't have that choice."
  • "When it comes to dressing well, American culture is so self-fulfilled that it has not only disregarded this courtesy of self-presentation, but has turned that disregard into a virtue. "We are too superior/busy/cool/not-uptight to bother about how we look to other people, and so we can wear pajamas to school and underwear to the mall."
  • "If you’re telling a non-black person about something racist that happened to you, make sure you are not bitter. Don’t complain. Be forgiving. If possible, make it funny. Most of all, do not be angry. Black people are not supposed to be angry about racism. Otherwise you get no sympathy. This applies only for white liberals, by the way. Don’t even bother telling a white conservative about anything racist that happened to you. Because the conservative will tell you that YOU are the real racist and your mouth will hang open in confusion."
  • "I'm chasing you. I'm going to chase you until you give this a chance."
  • "They never said “I don’t know.” They said, instead, “I’m not sure,” which did not give any information but still suggested the possibility of knowledge."

Purple Hibiscus (2003)[edit]

  • "Being defiant can be a good thing sometimes," Aunty Ifeoma said. "Defiance is like marijuana - it is not a bad thing when it is used right."
  • "I cannot control even the dreams that I have made."
  • "People have crushes on priests all the time, you know. It’s exciting to have to deal with God as a rival."
  • "The white missionaries brought us their god,” Amaka was saying. “Which was the same color as them, worshiped in their language and packaged in the boxes they made. Now that we take their god back to them, shouldn’t we at least repackage it?"
  • "Eugene has to stop doing God's job. God is big enough to do his own job. If God will judge our father for choosing to follow the way of our ancestors, then let God do the judging, not Eugene."
  • "There was a helplessness to his joy, the same kind of helplessness as in that woman’s despair."

Half of a yellow sun (2006)[edit]

  • "Then she wished, more rationally, that she could love him without needing him. Need gave him power without his trying; need was the choicelessness she often felt around him."
  • "This was love: a string of coincidences that gathered significance and became miracles"
  • "Is love this misguided need to have you beside me most of the time? Is love this safety I feel in our silences? Is it this belonging, this completeness?"
  • "...my point is that the only authentic identity for the African is the tribe...I am Nigerian because a white man created Nigeria and gave me that identity. I am black because the white man constructed black to be as different as possible from his white. But I was Igbo before the white man came."
  • "The truth has become an insult."
  • "This is our world, although the people who drew this map decided to put their own land on top of ours. There is no top or bottom, you see."
  • "There are some things that are so unforgivable that they make other things easily forgivable."
  • "A gorgeous pitless account of love, violence and betrayal."
  • "Greatness depends on where you are coming from."
  • “...my point is that the only authentic identity for the African is the tribe...I am Nigerian because a white man created Nigeria and gave me that identity. I am black because the white man constructed black to be as different as possible from his white. But I was Igbo before the white man came.”

The Best Short Stories(2021)[edit]

  • "I look to stories for consolation,the kind of small consolation that one needs to want to wake up everyday;as template for life;for news on how others live;for reminders that life's mysteries have no key"
  • "A successful story for me exist in a moral universe, not one where goodness always triumph, because that would be false but one with an inherent awareness of goodness"

On Gender[edit]

  • "My own definition is a feminist is a man or woman who says 'yes,there's a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it,we must do better.All of us,women and men,must do better."[5] chimamanda quote based on gender.
  • "Marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same? We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”[6]
  • “Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.”[7]
  • “The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be rather than recognizing how we are. Imagine how much happier we would be, how much freer to be our true individual selves, if we didn’t have the weight of gender expectations.”[8]
  • “Show a people as one thing, only one thing, over and over again, and that is what they become.”[9]
  • "So true--when people see an absence of women in engineering, science and technology, then it becomes self-reinforcing."[10]
  • “Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture.”[11]

On Perception[edit]

  • "The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story."[12]
  • "Many stories matter. Stories that have been used to dispossess and to malign.But stories can also be used to empower,and to humanize.Stories can break the dignity of a people.But stories can also repair that broken dignity"[13]

On Money and wealth[edit]

  • "Creative writing programmes are not very necessary. They just exist so that people like us can make a living." [14]
  • "How can we resist exploitation if we don’t have the tools to understand exploitation. Which of your favourite quotes by Chimamanda did we miss?"[15]
  • "There are many different ways to be poor in the world but increasingly there seems to be one single way to be rich."[16]


On Men, Love and Relationships[edit]

  • "Masculinity is a hard, small cage, and we put boys inside this cage."[17]
  • "Of course I am not worried about intimating men. The type of man who will be intimidated is exactly the type of man I have no interest in."[18]
  • "Please love by giving and by taking. Give and be given. If you are only giving and not taking, you’ll know. You’ll know from that small and true voice inside you that we females are so often socialized to silence. Don’t silence that voice. Dare to take."[19]
  • trans women are trans women
    • [20] Chimamanda responding to a question about whether she considers trans women as real women.

chinasa[edit]

  • "And even though I helped to clean the wounded, I had never taken anyone into my room.But I took this girl into my room.Her name was chinasa."[21]

External links[edit]

Wikipedia
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