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Last Wednesday, the 8th of February, Chimamanda Adichie paid a visit to Johns Hopkins University. During her last major visit to the university, she was awarded an honorary doctoral degree. [read here if you missed it.]

This time, she returns to the university as a speaker in the Foreign Affairs Symposium, a student-run speaker series that curates lectures and events around international issues and concerns.

Adichie spoke to a packed house. As usual, she dressed for the part and looked great in a literary-chic ensemble: denim cape, a pair of print culotte and gorgeous Afro.

In a live chat session with African Studies professor Dr. Shani Mott, Adichie explored a range questions on politics and her life as a writer.

Here are some of highlights as reported by Johns Hopkins University news site: hub.jhu.edu

On American Politics:

Adichie talked about the current political climate in America–the anxieties, the uncertainties, but also the dangers of becoming apathetic and hoping that everything is going to be okay.

On Fake Twitter Accounts:

Adichie also cleared the rumors about her presence on twitter. If you’ve ever wondered whether @adichiespeaks is the author’s real account, wonder no more. It is not. The author, who recently made Facebook the official and only social media site for connecting with fans, is still off Twitter, in part, because of her general sense of social media as an environment requiring caution.

On Success and “the necessity of failure”

She touched on her humble beginnings as a writer, pointing out that failure is a constitutive of part of growing as a artist. Her first novel, The Purple Hibiscus, shot her into the limelight. But before that she had had to grapple with failure and rejection. Her first novel was rejected. Moving beyond that experience and staying focused on her dreams of becoming a writer is clearly part of her story as a successful writer today.

“If you’re going to create,” she says “failure has to come—not just failure, but drought.” Aspiring writers, take note.

Adichie who clearly had a great time at the event shared a few photos on Facebook.

adichie-johns-hopkins-talk4adichie-johns-hopkins-talk2adichie-johns-hopkins-talk3adichie-johns-hopkins-talk7

 

 

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Post image via Author’s Facebook Page

Facebook Link image by LARRY CANNER via hub.jhu.edu

 

Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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