Home | Introduction | Biography & More | Bibliography | Interview | Links | Miscellaneous | About this Site
 
Quotations

Quotations are listed in chronological order of publication (or broadcast).

 

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Photo © Steve Carty I just write. I have to write. I like to say that I didn't choose writing, writing chose me. This may sound slightly mythical, but I sometimes feel as if my writing is something bigger than I am.

*

We do not just risk repeating history if we sweep it under the carpet, we also risk being myopic about our present.

*

Do NOT copy John Grisham.

*

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Photo © Okey Adichie Have you wondered why reviewers and blurb-writers are quick to reassure readers that a book about Africa (usually one written by a Black African about Black Africans) is NOT JUST AN AFRICAN BOOK BUT IS UNIVERSAL, as well? As if 'African' and 'Universal' are mutually exclusive. Nobody ever informs the reader that a great English or American novel is universal because the assumption, of course, is that it is.

Interview by Dan Wickett, Emerging Writers Forum, 6 April 2004.

*

For me, love and death come together.

*

I always say I'm the kind of feminist who likes lip gloss.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in Rachel Giese, 'The Untold Story', CBC.ca, 25 October 2006.

*

I have considered being a university professor and teaching whimsical, rant-filled classes with no obvious useful benefit.

*

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.

*

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie I think it's very important for people to know that those men who are scared by women who are accomplished are the kind of men accomplished women don't want. So it's nobody's loss.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in Henry Akubuiro, 'My love life', Daily Sun (Nigeria), 14 January 2007.

*

I don't think that it [magic] is much different from believing in a Christian god. I mean, if magic is unreasonable, then so is faith in a Christian god, because you can't see either.

*

I don't think that if one really wants to understand Africa, that one then does that by seeing a film with Leonardo DiCaprio in Sierra Leone.

*

I've told my friends and family that I have earned the right to write a disastrous book.

*

Academia is often about academia and not about the real, messy world.

*

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Photo © NEXT You know the story that we sell to young girls where the prince gets on his knee and whips out a ring, and then you start crying in gratitude? I think it's ridiculous.

*

Whatever I write, somebody is somehow going to find a way to show that I'm really writing about political oppression in Africa.

*

The problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete.

*

Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign. But stories can also be used to empower, and to humanize.

*

Lagos is all about God – and also about cologne and phones.

*

When I am 60, I will want to look 60 – although, of course, the best 60 I can be.

*

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie  - Photo © Marco Del Grande I like to think of fiction as the soul of history.

*

Being a sub-Saharan African writer, you're supposed to be like Chinua Achebe, who is called the father of modern African literature. But you're probably compared to him because people don't know any other writers from Africa.

*

My writing comes from melancholy, from rage, from curiosity, from hope.

*

Realist fiction is, above all, the process of turning fact into truth.

*

Literature is in many ways like faith: it is a leap of imagination.

*

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Photo © Don Usner Logic can convince but it is in fact emotion that leads us to act.

*

Literature is not just words. Literature is never just words.

*

Our histories cling to us. We are shaped by where we come from. Our art is shaped by where we come from.

*

We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are. If we have sons, we don't mind knowing about our sons' girlfriends. But our daughters' boyfriends, God forbid!

*

The problem with gender is that it prescribes how we should be, rather than recognizing how we are.

*

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Photo © David Levenson / Gerry ImagesCooking, by the way, is a very useful skill for a boy to have. I've never thought it made sense to leave such a crucial thing - the ability to nourish oneself - in the hands of others.

*

I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femaleness and for my femininity. And I want to be respected in all of my femaleness, because I deserve to be.

*

Culture does not make people; people make culture.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Photo © unknown

*

I want to brainwash everybody to become fiercely feminist.

*

The new law that criminalizes homosexuality [...] shows a failure of our democracy, because the mark of a true democracy is not in the rule of its majority but in the protection of its minority [...].

*

I think that by the time I am 60, if I live to be 60, I will be a slightly right-wing recluse reading Muriel Spark and muttering to myself in my dark study in Enugu.

*

Black women are the only women on the planet who permanently change their hair into something that looks as far removed as possible from what God put on their heads.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Photo © Justin Sutcliffe

*

Never pretend to know what you don't know, otherwise you will never learn.

*

I've actually found that the older I get, the less interested I am in how the West sees Africa, and the more interested I am in how Africa sees itself.

*

We in Nigeria have an unearned and funny sense of superiority. Nigerians are the Americans of Africa.

*

Nobody is ever just a refugee. Nobody is ever just a single thing.

*

In Igbo, the word for love is 'ifunanya', and its literal translation is 'to see'. So I would like to suggest today that this is a time for a new narrative, a narrative in which we truly see those about whom we speak.

*

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - Photo © Chris Boland Today, in this world that has been scarred by so much suffering, creating room for people [refugees] is not only doable; it is a moral imperative. It is the moral imperative of our time.

*

The knowledge of cooking does not come pre-installed in a vagina.

*

Being a feminist is like being pregnant. You either are or you are not.

*

If you are a white man, you don't get to define what racism is.

© 2004-2017 Daria Tunca. Please do not reproduce without permission.
Page hosted by the University of Ličge