Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Contemporary Writers Series Welcomes Prize Winning Novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to ECU


GREENVILLE, N.C. (March 19, 2014) — Internationally acclaimed writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will visit East Carolina University at 7:30 p.m. April 2, in Hendrix Theater, as part of the ECU Contemporary Writers Series. The Nigerian-American novelist is the author of “The Purple Hibiscus” and “Half of a Yellow Sun,” frequent titles on ECU course reading lists. She will lead an evening reading, immediately followed by a question and answer session. The event is free and open to the public.

Adichie’s first novel “Purple Hibiscus” won the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best First Book in 2005. She won the Orange Prize – one of the best of the British prizes – for her second novel “Half of a Yellow Sun,” which was named after the flag of the short-lived nation of Biafra and set during the Nigerian Civil War of 1967-1970. This month, Adichie received the US National Book Critics Circle Award for her most recent work, “Americanah,” which is the story of the Americanization of a young Nigerian woman in Obama-era America learning the difference between ‘African-American’ and ‘American-African.’

“Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie picked up the mantle of Chinua Achebe and has, in a short time, transcended the boundaries of her Nigerian home and become an important figure in world literature,” said Dr. Richard Taylor, associate professor of English in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

ECU graduate student Kevin Nosalek, who is writing his master’s thesis on Adichie, said, “The one thing that stands out about Adichie, and the one way she has influenced me the most, was her concept of ‘The Danger of a Single Story.’ Hearing her words in this speech was my first real ‘a-ha’ moment while pursuing my master's degree. Adichie changed the way I read and, most importantly, understand African literature. Through her work, she brought Nigeria and Africa to me on a personal level with characters with whom I can relate and recognize despite the differences in our cultures.”

As of today, Adichie’s 2009 discussion on “The Danger of a Single Story,” has reached more than six million viewers on the TED website, which is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas. (

Adichie studied creative writing at John Hopkins University and completed a Master of Arts in African Studies at Yale. She has received fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University.

The ECU Contemporary Writers Series is sponsored by the Division of Research and Graduate Studies, the David Julian and Virginia Suther Whichard Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities, Office of Student Leadership, Office of the Provost and the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.

For additional information, contact Dr. Thomas Douglass, associate professor of English, at 252-328-6723 or, or Dr. Marame Gueye, assistant professor of English, at 252-328-6702 or Individuals requesting accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours prior to the events.