Chimamanda completed her secondary education at the University's school, receiving several academic prizes. She went on to study medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria for a year and a half. During this period, she edited The Compass, a magazine run by the University's Catholic medical students.
At the age of nineteen, Chimamanda left for the United States. She gained a scholarship to study communication at Drexel University in Philadelphia for two years, and she went on to pursue a degree in communication and political science at Eastern Connecticut State University, where she also wrote articles for the university journal, the Campus Lantern. While in Connecticut, she stayed with her sister Ijeoma, who runs a medical practice close to the university.
Chimamanda graduated summa cum laude from Eastern in 2001, and then completed a master's degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.
It is during her senior year at Eastern that she started working on her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, which was released in October 2003. The book has received wide critical acclaim: it was shortlisted for the Orange Fiction Prize (2004) and was awarded the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (2005).
Her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun (also the title of one of her short stories), is set before and during the Biafran War. It was published in August 2006 in the United Kingdom and in September 2006 in the United States. Like Purple Hibiscus, it has also been released in Nigeria.
Chimamanda was a Hodder fellow at Princeton University during the 2005-2006 academic year, and earned an MA in African Studies from Yale University in 2008; her thesis was entitled 'The Myth of "Culture": Sketching the History of Igbo Women in Precolonial and Colonial Nigeria'. In 2011-2012, she was awarded a fellowship by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, which allowed her to finalize her third novel, Americanah. The book was released to great critical acclaim in 2013.
Chimamanda is now married and has a daughter. She divides her time between Nigeria, where she regularly teaches writing workshops, and the United States.
A list of the awards she has won is available here.
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Official Website: About the Author.
- Back cover of and introduction to Amanda N. Adichie, For Love of Biafra (Ibadan: Spectrum Books, 1998).
- Biographical notes introducing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 'The Scarf', Wasafiri 37 (Winter 2002), p. 26.
- Author information on the jacket of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Purple Hibiscus (Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2003). 'Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie '01', Eastern Connecticut University, n.d. [circa 2012].
- 'Spinning Tales of Africa', Connecticut State University: News and Events, 22 January 2004.
- Interview with Behlor Santi, Writers Notes Magazine 1, 2004, pp. 65-70.
- Interview with Chris Meade (also includes a biography), Commonwealth Writers' Prize, 2005.
- 'I left home to find home', Interview by Carl Wilkinson, Observer, 6 March 2005.
- 'Per Contra Interviews: Miriam N. Kotzin with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie', Per Contra, Spring 2006.
- Patterson, Christina, 'Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Fortunes of war and peace', Independent, 18 August 2006.
- Peel, Michael, 'Love in the time of war', Financial Times, 9 September 2006.
- '12 Questions for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie', Interview with Jane Ciabattari, Critical Mass, 12 September 2006.
- Gonzalez, Susan, 'In her novel, student tells human story of Biafran War', Yale Bulletin and Calendar 35.23 (30 March 2007).
- 'Chimamanda Adichie chosen as Radcliffe fellow', NEXT, 18 March 2011.
- Pilling, David, 'Lunch with the FT: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie', Financial Times, 30 June 2016.
- 'MA Thesis Archive', Yale Macmillan Center, n.d.
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