Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Next Book Is About Her Late Father

Notes on Grief will explore collective mourning through the late James Nwoye Adichie’s life as a Biafran War survivor and statistics professor.
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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Notes on Grief.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Notes on Grief.

Following her father’s death last year, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie wrote a reflection in The New Yorker titled “Notes on Grief.” Now she has expanded the memoir into a book-length work—chapbook, likely—that explores collective grief during the pandemic, “the familial and cultural dimensions of grief, and the loneliness and anger that accompany it.” It will center her father’s life, “a remarkable man of kindness and charm” who survived the Biafran War of 1967-70 and was Nigeria’s first professor of statistics.

Professor James Nwoye Adichie’s stories of the Biafran War were among Adichie’s sources for her monumental second novel Half of a Yellow Sun. He died from kidney failure.  

Adichie’s UK publisher 4th Estate describes the memoir as “a timely and deeply personal … work of meditation, remembrance and hope.”

It is, “a moving tribute to the father Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie loved fiercely and whose sudden death devastated her,” 4th Estate editor Nick Pearson told The Guardian. “It will be treasured by readers for the light it sheds on the pain of navigating the loss of someone we love.”

Notes on Grief will be published by 4th Estate on 11 May 2021.

Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young, a writer, culture journalist, curator, and media consultant, is the founder and editor of Open Country Mag. He was editor of Folio Nigeria, CNN’s exclusive media affiliate in Africa, and has led or joined editorial teams at a host of platforms and projects in African literature. He has written about the Nigerian culture scene, covering innovation in over 20 fields including art, music, tech, sports, cuisine, fashion, journalism, sculpture, beauty, health, and activism. In literature, his Profile subjects have included Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Teju Cole, Damon Galgut, and Tsitsi Dangarembga. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review and Transition. He sat on the judging panel of The Morland Scholarship, a British grant for African writers, and currently chairs the panel of The Gerald Kraak Prize, a South African initiative for storytelling about gender, sexuality, and social justice. He has an MA in African Studies and a BA in English and History from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He taught English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. He is currently studying for an MFA at the Iowa Writers' Workshop. In 2019, he received the inaugural The Future Awards Africa Prize for Literature. In 2020, he was named among “The 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians” by Avance Media. Twitter & Instagram: @otosirieze. Website: otosirieze.com.

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