HALF-OF-A-YELLOW-SUN-SISTERS

Is Chimamanda Adichie #TeamKainene or #TeamOlanna?

We’ve always wondered about this question. But seeing that authors are always so squeamish about publicly favoring one character over another, we never imagined we’d ever know which of the two sisters Adichie favored.

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Now we know, thanks to Sarah Hannan, who asked Adichie during a web chat organized by The Guardian.

Do you think you are more like Olanna or more like Kainene and why? Do you think Kainene is the stronger sister?

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Adichie’s response:

A friend said I divided myself in two and created each of the characters. I’m still thinking about it. I certainly admire Kainene more.

That was five days ago. Just yesterday, Adichie sat down with Ted Hodgkinson for a chat before a live audience. At some point that night she revealed in even more precise language her preference for Kainene: “Kainene is the sister I’d be friends with. Olanna is lovely and sweet, but I would find her slightly annoying…she’s too good.”

Adichie’s decade-old novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, is centered around the two female characters who have become iconic images of African feminity. Olanna is pretty, mellow, and nice. Kainene is a feisty and charismatic young woman with a whole lot of swag.

Are you surprised that Adichie is #TeamKainene? For those of you who have read Half of a Yellow Sun, do you have a favorite sister?