By:?FINLAND TODAY

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 36, the award-winning Nigerian author, posing for Finland Today at Helsinki Book Fair at Messukeskus on late Thursday afternoon. Picture: Tony ?hberg EASTPRESS | FINLAND TODAY
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 36, the award-winning Nigerian author, posing for Finland Today at Helsinki Book Fair at Messukeskus on late Thursday afternoon. Picture: Tony ?hberg EASTPRESS | FINLAND TODAY

“What are your three biggest problems down there in Nigeria?” the interviewer asked.
“Oh my lord.”
“What are the three biggest problems in Finland?” the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 36, responded with a low, raspy voice.
The crowd cheered and applauded!
A huge crowd surrounded Adichie, who was sitting in the spotlight on Aleksis Kivi stage, as she visited Helsinki Book Fair at Messukeskus on late Thursday afternoon.CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE

The interviewer tried to pull it together:

“Unemployment, bad politicians and?”

This was obviously not something he was prepared for. An interviewer asks questions, not the other way around.

CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE

 

In Finland, Adichie is especially known for?Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), which was awarded for 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction. Other Nordic countries received it well, too. The Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter called it “a literary sensation”.

Half of a Yellow Sun?is a story about two sisters during the Nigerian-Biafran war in 1967-1970. There is also a
movie adaption of the novel, screened in 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

Adichie has also written?Purple Hibiscus (2003); and her latest novel?Americanah (2013)?tells a story of race: What it means to be black in the U.S?

During the interview, she shared her writing habits of not outlining, being an obsessive rewriter and letting the characters lead the story.

“Sometimes, in the middle of a book, I’ll have to go back and read from the beginning just to remember, who’s who and what happened.”

“I don’t have a plan. I think I would be bored, if I had a plan.”

She also said that she was against blogging, especially the young authors should put their time instead into writing books.

Sofi Oksanen and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Sofi Oksanen and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

The interviewer pointed out that later, Adichie was going to be interviewed by the Finnish-Estonian award-winning author Sofi Oksanen and she was asked she got acquainted with Oksanen.

Adichie said, a few years ago, she had read Oksanen?s Finlandia-awarded novel?Purge?(released in english 2010), a story of two women confronting their past of hardships in the Soviet occupation of Estonia.

“I remember reading all these contemporary novels that I didn?t finish, then I started reading this book,?Purge, and I just loved it,” Adichie said.

CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE AND SOFI OKSANEN

“A few months later, my editor said that she [Sofi Oksanen] had enjoyed the?Half of the Yellow Sun.”

That made Adichie very happy.

In the end of the interview, Adichie tried to relate to the question about Nigeria’s problems and came to a conclusion.

“I think that the Nigerians are the most enterprising, innovative and also most ridiculously optimistic people.”

?Oh! That is a good line to stop this interview.?

The crowd cheered.

CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE

 

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