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Orange Prize for Literature winner Chimamanda Adichie and the single story

Posted on: November 20, 2009

As a Ghanaian-American writer, I have had similar experiences as Chimamanda who expresses herself brilliantly. Here she is, in her own voice:

If you have any trouble, kindly copy the address and paste directly on your browser. The video is called Chimamanda and the single story.



10 Responses to "Orange Prize for Literature winner Chimamanda Adichie and the single story"

It says the video isn't available when I click that link…;)

Thanks for the heads up. The link appeared to have been broken, so I pasted it again and it's fine. If you click on it and it doesn't work, kindly copy and paste to your browser. It's an inspiring speech for all of us. HugsBisi

That was interesting. She's a strong speaker and makes intelligent points about the single story. How true there is no single story, and that we've many voices as a society so we can deliver a story from many perspectives.Thanks for sharing.

Thanks, Corra. I really identified with her because my memoir was initially rejected by 25 publishers because they were hoping to get "more culture" and that it wasn't African enough. I have to examine myself to ensure I don't judge others by a single story.Hugs,Bisi

How interesting. When I first started writing, I unconsciously imitated the books I was reading. It must be universal. Children are indeed impressionable, people in general, actually. What a fascinating speech from a fascinating woman. How wonderful the world is that God created… it's so exotic, beautiful, and full of diversity. Our literature should reflect that. My stories will naturally come from my experience, but I love reading the experience and perspective of others. There's never just a single story, and thank God there isn't because the world would lose its color and vibrancy. As a white person, I feel that society preaches that we should be ashamed of being white, but I refuse to be ashamed of anything except wrong actions, thoughts, words, or opinions — the great sin of the West is how superficial, shallow, and materialistic it has become… those are the things that are shameful… that is not a skin condition; it's a heart condition. But as people, we are so much more than the color of our skin or our labels. We are not a single story. Very moving speech. Brilliant woman. How easy it is to believe the single story, but how important it is — in order to be humane — not to. I'm a white, American, Christian, Republican. Like all cultures, I understand the single story, too. I'm often a bigoted, shallow, intolerant, stupid caricature in it. (I loved her American Psycho comeback, by the way! Very clever.)

Doralynn, hi! I have to be more consistent about blogging, once a week at least. I haven't been here, so I only just saw your comment. What you say is so profound. I love what you say about not being ashamed of being white, Christian and Republican. I think we're all guilty of prejudice. I've had to confront it in myself too. Thanks for your brilliant comments. I love "that is not a skin condition; it's a heart condition."Bisi

Bisi,I didn't come back to thank you for calling my attention to that think. Her experience was my experience, which got me thinking, which resulted in a blog post. 🙂 I too started out writing what I was reading, which was those Mills and Boon stories. Only now in adulthood have I sought to show love as I see it in my culture. The internet has brought the world that much closer and has also shattered the notion that there is only one story about any culture or people. Thanks ever so much for sharing.

Sorry, I meant to say, calling my attention that that 'talk'.

Hi Jayda,Thanks for listening to her. I knew you would appreciate it, with your background. I hope you read her books too; they've been such an influence, and to think how she has blazed an international trail, when initially, every publisher turned her town!Best,Bisi

Very effective product. I love it.Well that was a nice post. I liked it.Bathmate

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