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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie quotes

Americans think African writers will write about the exotic, about wildlife, poverty, maybe AIDS. They come to Africa and African books with certain expectations.

It is easy to romanticize poverty, to see poor people as inherently lacking agency and will. It is easy to strip them of human dignity, to reduce them to objects of pity. This has never been clearer than in the view of Africa from the American media, in which we are shown poverty and conflicts without any context.

Non-fiction, and in particular the literary memoir, the stylised recollection of personal experience, is often as much about character and story and emotion as fiction is.

The problem with looking in the mirror is that you never know how you will feel about what you see. Sometimes, when my hormones are out of sync, I have no interest in the mirror, and if I do look I think everything is all wrong. Other times, I am quite pleased with what I see.

While writing 'Half of a Yellow Sun,' I enjoyed playing with minor things: inventing a train station in a town that has none, placing towns closer to each other than they are, changing the chronology of conquered cities. Yet I did not play with the central events of that time.

The novels I love, the ones I remember, the ones I re-read, have an empathetic human quality, or 'emotional truth'. This quality is difficult to fully define, but I always recognise it when I see it: it is different from honesty and more resilient than fact, something that exists not in the kind of fiction that explains but in the kind that shows.

I find that women... deal with immigration differently. And I'm interested in that.

I think it's possible to have been a happy child, as I was, and still question and push back with regard to societal conventions.

I write from real life. I am an unrepentant eavesdropper and a collector of stories. I record bits of overheard dialogue.

There has always been a strange dissonance between the public and the private in Nigeria.

I am a bit of a fundamentalist when it comes to black women's hair. Hair is hair - yet also about larger questions: self-acceptance, insecurity and what the world tells you is beautiful. For many black women, the idea of wearing their hair naturally is unbearable.

I ask questions. I watch the world. And what I have discovered is that the parts of my fiction that people most tell me are 'unbelievable' are those that are most closely based on the real, those least diluted by my imagination.

I have my father's lopsided mouth. When I smile, my lips slope to one side. My doctor sister calls it my cerebral palsy mouth. I am very much a daddy's girl, and even though I would rather my smile wasn't crooked, there is something moving for me about having a mouth exactly like my father's.

I realized that I was African when I came to the United States. Whenever Africa came up in my college classes, everyone turned to me. It didn't matter whether the subject was Namibia or Egypt; I was expected to know, to explain.

I think I'm ridiculously fortunate. I consider myself a Nigerian - that's home; my sensibility is Nigerian. But I like America, and I like that I can spend time in America.

Lasting love has to be built on mutual regard and respect. It is about seeing the other person. I am very interested in relationships and, when I watch couples, sometimes I can sense a blindness has set in. They have stopped seeing each other. It is not easy to see another person.

Nigerian politics has been, since the military dictatorships, largely non-ideological. Rather than a battle of ideas, it is about who can pump in the most money and buy the most access.

I divide my time between Columbia, Maryland, and Lagos, Nigeria.

I live half the year in Nigeria, the other half in the U.S. But home is Nigeria - it always will be. I consider myself a Nigerian who is comfortable in the world. I look at it through Nigerian eyes.

I can write with authority only about what I know well, which means that I end up using surface details of my own life in my fiction.