If you are a feminist and haven’t been reading Adichie, it’s time to head to the library. Between her writings, TED Talks, and being featured in a Beyoncé song, Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is steadily becoming a household name in the international feminist scene. After reading her novel Americanah for book club, I decided to check out some of her works that deal more directly with her ideas on feminism. Today I will review her most recent publication: the epistolary essay Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, originally written as a letter to her friend with advice on how to raise a feminist daughter. Continue reading Book Review: Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
“Many days I reason to myself that change is the point of it all…. Maybe God is still speaking and will continue to do so for always. Maybe He is still creating new covenants, only we were too deaf, too headstrong, too set in old ways to hear…. Maybe we have only to open our ears and hearts and minds to hear.”
-Epilogue, Under the Udala Trees
Released earlier this week, Under the Udala Trees tells the story of Ijeoma, a young woman growing up in Nigeria, at first during the Biafran War, and then in the aftermath, as she falls in love for the first time, and then again. Her mother tells her this love is an abomination because it is for another young woman, and Ijeoma struggles to balance her mother’s teachings with her own feelings. In Nigeria, Ijeoma could be stoned to death for loving another woman, a warning that echoes in her mind over the years as she deals with the pressure from a society (and a widowed mother) that tells her she must marry a man in order to be complete.