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Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie. Photo by Beowulf Sheehan.

Critically acclaimed author Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie will participate in a forum on the relationship between literature and human rights on Tuesday, February 26 at 5:30 p.m. in the Nelson Mandela Auditorium at the FedEx Global Education Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Adichie has been described by the Times Literary Supplement as the most prominent of young authors “succeeding in attracting a new generation of readers to African literature.”

Her work includes poetry, short fiction and novels that have earned numerous awards. Her first novel, “Purple Hibiscus,” won the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. It was also long-listed for the Booker Prize. Her second book, “Half of a Yellow Sun,” which re-creates a seminal moment in modern African history-Biafra’s impassioned secessionist struggle to establish an independent republic in Nigeria and the chilling violence that followed-was awarded the Orange Prize.

Born in Nigeria, Adichie graduated summa cum laude from Eastern Connecticut State, and received a master’s degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University and a master’s degree in African studies from Yale. Her Nigerian background sets the stage for her work, which explores the pressures of history and society on ethics and human identity. She has noted her writing honors “the collective memory of an entire nation.”

Adichie’s fiction is characterized by a courage and ambition to grapple with critical issues of race and identity, the nationalisms and ethnic ties that lead us to war, the global forces producing violence and the fight between old-age colonialism and the new world. She weaves characters of different races and classes together in the sweep of history.

The event is co-sponsored by the Curriculum in Global Studies, the Department of African and Afro-American Studies, the Department of Geography, the African Studies Center, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Global Education Fund, the Center for Global Initiatives and the Institute for the Arts and Humanities.

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