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Nigerian Author’s Grief During a Pandemic

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has written a memoir about the sudden death of her father in lockdown last year. Notes on Grief, by the Orange prize-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah, will be published on 11 May. Her UK publisher 4th Estate described it as “a timely and deeply personal … work of meditation, remembrance and hope”. Adichie’s father, James Nwoye Adichie, died unexpectedly from complications of kidney failure last summer. He was in Nigeria, while his daughter was in the US. Adichie has built on the essay to explore the nature of collective grief during the pandemic, of “being one of the millions of people grieving, about the familial and cultural dimensions of grief, and also about the loneliness and anger that accompany it”. The book will also tell her father’s life story, from his survival of the Biafran war to his career as a statistics professor, painting a portrait of “a remarkable man of kindness and charm”.