Stories are everywhere – our perspectives on culture and our own lives depend on the stories we hear, create and share. In her amazing talk from TEDGlobal 2009, Nigerian novelist and Beyoncé collaborator Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discusses the importance of stories in the ways we build our perspectives about other people – and the critical disconnects that can occur by only listening to one story. Drawing from personal experiences with judging others and being judged for being Nigerian, she draws the parallels between single stories and stereotypes. In her words, “The single story creates stereotypes. And, the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” This humorous, inspiring and ultimately thought-provoking talk is simply flawless.
Americanah (Anchor, 2014)
This novel, which won the National Critics Circle Award for Fiction in 2014, revolves around two Nigerian ex-pats who return home and fall in love. It’s a “tender story of race and identity” that is sure to pull on your heartstrings as much as it makes you think.
We Should All Be Feminists (Anchor, 2015)
This personal essay, inspired by Adichie’s TEDx talk on feminism that was famously sampled by Beyoncé in her 2014 hit “Flawless,” offers a strongly argued and distinctive definition of feminism for the twenty-first century. It’s an in-depth and thoughtful look at what it means to be a woman today.