Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Ane Farsethås
“Being a feminist is like being pregnant. You either are or you are not. You either believe in the full equality of women, or you do not.”
Long before Beyoncé borrowed her voice for her song ***Flawless, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie had made her mark as a distinct political voice. In 2015, the essay We Should All Be Feminists was published, and this year saw the small book Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions. It is written in the form of a letter to a friend who had just become a mother, with Adichie’s advice on how to raise her daughter.
The two non-fiction books both have ties to Adichie’s fiction, from the coming of age portrayal in Purple Hibiscus and the independent and norm breaking Olanna in Half of a Yellow Sun to the exploring and outspoken Ifemelu in Americanah. They raise issues Adichie has explored throughout her writing career, about power, violence, independence and the role of literature in understanding and expanding one’s view of the world, and in sparking joy in the reader. One of the pieces of advice for the fresh mother is precisely to let her daughter read – a lot. Adichie’s books broaden public debates in her home country Nigeria as well as in the US. Earlier this year, Americanah was selected for One Book, One New York, the world’s largest community read.
Tonight, Adichie visits the House of Literature to talk about the future of literature and feminism in conversation with cultural editor of Morgenbladet, Ane Farsethås.