Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Notes on Grief Virtual Author Event

Saturday July 31 12 p.m.

Notes on Grief

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
 

Join us Saturday July 31st at 12 p.m. in welcoming Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for her book Notes On Grief. Which released in May of this year. In Notes on Grief, Adichie writes on not only the loss of her father but also how millions of people were also stuck in grief during 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic. Adichie gives readers a view of her father's magnificent life. 

PLEASE RSVP AND FIND LINK TO THE EVENT ON CROWDCAST HERE.

 

 


Information about CrowdCast:

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About:

Notes on Grief is an exquisite work of meditation, remembrance, and hope, written in the wake of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s beloved father’s death in the summer of 2020. As the COVID-19 pandemic raged around the world, and kept Adichie and her family members separated from one another, her father succumbed unexpectedly to complications of kidney failure. 


About the Author:

CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE is the author of award-winning and best-selling novels, including Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun; the short story collection The Thing Around Your Neck; and the essays We Should All Be Feminists and Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions. A recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.

 


Praise For:

 

Kirkus Reviews (03/15/2021):

An affecting paean to the author's father, James Nwoye Adichie (1932-2020). "I am writing about my father in the past tense, and I cannot believe I am writing about my father in the past tense." So writes award-winning Nigerian novelist Adichie, reflecting on her father's remarkable life in this slim volume. The first professor of statistics in his country, James lived an eventful and sometimes fraught life. During the Biafran War, for instance, Nigerian soldiers burned all his books, which American colleagues rushed to replace--and, Adichie adds, sent bookshelves as well. He courted the author's mother sight unseen: A relative bragged about the young scholar, saying he needed an educated wife: "A relative of hers said that she was educated and beautiful, fair as an egret. Fair as an egret! O na-enwu ka ugbana! Another standing family joke." Funny and principled, James died during the pandemic--not of the virus but kidney disease. Compounding her grief was distance, and Adichie and her siblings followed Igbo tradition by making an "immediate pivot from pain to planning." In one Zoom call after another, they arranged a burial on an approved Friday that's not a holiday, since Fridays are the one day the parish priest will bury an elderly person--and, Adichie writes, not being given a proper funeral is a fear that amounts to existential dread among people of her father's generation. She moves through some of the classic stages of grief, including no small amount of anger--at the well-meaning but empty word demise as well as the ineffectual condolences of well-meaning people: " 'It has happened, so just celebrate his life, ' an old friend wrote, and it incensed me." Eventually, the author reflects on a newfound awareness of mortality and finds a "new urgency" to live her life and do her work in the ever present shadow of death. An elegant, moving contribution to the literature of death and dying. COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.



Booklist (04/15/2021):

Celebrated novelist (Americanah, 2013) and writer Adichie offers deeply etched testimony to the devastation she endured in the U.S. when her adored father died unexpectedly of kidney disease an ocean away in Nigeria during the COVID-19 lockdown. Shock, rage, and pain--physical and psychic--are built into the stronghold of her syntax as she recounts the Zoom calls she and her large family conducted to stay in as close-as-possible touch during the long, stressful separation, communication abruptly derailed by her father's hard-to-accept absence. Memories slowly cohere into a portrait of Adichie's father as Nigeria's first professor of statistics and deputy vice chancellor at the University of Nigeria (where her mother was the first woman registrar) as well as a man of attentiveness, humor, wisdom, and kindness. Adichie reflects on the crucial role he played in her life, teaching her, among many lessons, that "learning is never-ending." Adichie's exquisitely forthright chronicle of grief generously articulates the harrowing amplification of sorrow, helplessness, and loss during the COVID-19 pandemic, making this an intimate and essential illumination of a tragic time. COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.



Library Journal (05/07/2021):

With this latest work, Adichie (AmericanahWe Should All Be Feminists) offers a brief but deeply poignant meditation on the sensations of grief and the way the COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated mourning. Adichie unexpectedly lost her beloved father, James Nwoye Adichie, in the early days of 2020. This slim volume describes her feelings of disillusionment, disappointment, and heartbreak, with a quiet, articulate account of the events after his death. As a celebration of her father's life, the narrative is also a compelling and poignant ode to their relationship. While there is deep sadness in each brief chapter, there is also comfort in how accurately Adichie captures the tense and overwhelming times that follow shortly after a loss. Adichie shares how she struggled with grieving from a distance (she lives in the United States, far from her father in Nigeria), and how the world seemed to move on while she felt stuck in place. VERDICT A worthwhile mediation on coming to terms with grief. Especially as we continue to reckon with loss, this reflective account will be valuable to the many people unexpectedly grieving from afar.--Rachel Rosenberg, North Vancouver District Lib., BC

Copyright 2021 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
 

Biographical Note:

CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE grew up in Nigeria. Her work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared in various publications, including The New YorkerThe New York TimesGrantaThe O. Henry Prize StoriesFinancial Times, and Zoetrope: All-Story. She is the author of the novels Purple Hibiscus, which won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; Half of a Yellow Sun, which was the recipient of the Women's Prize for Fiction "Winner of Winners" award; Americanah, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award; the story collection The Thing Around Your Neck; and the essays We Should All Be Feminists and Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, both national bestsellers. A recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.



Review Quotes:
"This intimate work implores, jerks us out of callousness, moves grief closer . . . Notes on Grief lays a path by which we might mourn our individual traumas among the aggregate suffering of this harrowing time. Our guide, Adichie, is uncloaked, full of 'wretched, roaring rage, ' teaching us how to gather our disparate selves and navigate the still-raging pandemic. In the texture of many of these sentences you can almost feel where the writer has resisted bearing down with her refining tools--language and memory--so as to allow her emotional reality to remain splintered and sharp. Adichie is a consummate world-builder . . . Over the course of these 30 fragments, we witness a shift in perspective, an assurance that whatever comes next will never have been created before."
--Sarah M. Broom, The New York Times Book Review [front-page review]

 

Notes on Grief makes visceral the experience of death and grieving. In poetic bursts of imagistic prose that mirror the fracturing of self after the death of a beloved parent, Adichie constructs a narrative of mourning -- of haunting and of love. Notes on Grief becomes a work larger than its slim size, universal in the experience of the loss of a parent, and the struggle to mourn that loss."
--Hope Wabuke, NPR.org

"Elegantly spare . . . brutally frank . . With raw eloquence, Notes on Grief is both achingly personal and stunningly familiar to anyone who has felt the 'permanent scattering' [of grief]. Written and published less than a year after her father's death, Adichie's pain on these pages is so palpable that one can almost taste its bitterness. She captures the bewildering messiness of loss in a society that requires serenity, when you'd rather just scream. Grief is impolite . . . Adichie's words put welcome, authentic voice to this most universal of emotions, which is also one of the most universally avoided."
--Leslie Gray Streeter, The Washington Post

 

"Adichie unflinchingly gazes into the black hole of grief as through a telescope, exposing intimate moments and public convulsions while tapping her roots to channel a spectrum of emotions . . . Candid, elegant . . . The writer meets the moment."
--Oprah Daily, "20 Best Books of May"

 

"A story of loss achingly of its time . . . Adichie struggles not only with the shock of her unexpected loss but also with the impossibility of distance and by extension, access. She also realizes that each step toward the official recognition of [her father's] passing will force her to accept that it has happened. I really appreciated Adichie's discomfort with the language of grief. Books often come to you just when you need them . . . A book on grief is not the kind of book you want to have to give to anyone. But here we are."
--Allison Arieff, San Francisco Chronicle

"A poignant reflection... Adichie recounts her efforts to cope with her loss, to accept condolences, to carry out the inevitable rituals of death. Her Dad emerges as a wise, kind, thoughtful and understanding presence throughout Notes on Grief . . .The loveliest writing, however, is not about James Nwoye Adichie, but about the anguish and longing his death produces in those who suffer his absence most acutely. In death, those we love become more than we understood, more than we can ever remember alone. Adichie appreciates this power."
-- Carlos Lozada, The Washington Post

 

"Adichie's exquisitely forthright chronicle of grief generously articulates the harrowing amplification of sorrow, helplessness, and loss during the COVID-19 pandemic . . . An intimate and essential illumination of a tragic time."
--Booklist

"Spare and yet spiritually nutritious, the book serves as a reflection of Adichie's turmoil in loss. It is also an exquisitely written tribute to her father, James Nwoye Adichie, who was Nigeria's first professor of statistics: his self-effacement, sense of calm and wry humor shine through."
--Catherine Taylor, The Guardian US

 

"Adichie's great strength is the authority of her voice, her moral and emotional centeredness that draws the resistant close. Here, she insists on her right to desolation in response to the singular loss of her father."
--Maureen Corrigan, "Fresh Air"

 

"It is the sense of disbelief, the messiness and confusion with which we meet the loss of our loved ones, that Adichie describes so well. Upon hearing the news about her father's death, she
collapses, and she writes about that collapse unsparingly . . . More than any other piece I've read recently, Adichie's book captures the harshness of mourning in a time of pandemic ."
--Nilanjana Roy, Financial Times

"Fierce, tender and raw . . . In Notes on Grief, Adichie reveals a more private self. This is a cathartic work for Adichie, a way to keep alive the spirit of her father by telling his stories. And in her writing, her father shines as a man of deep kindness and integrity, a dry wit and successful academic who was unstinting in his support of his daughter's ambitions."
--Anderson Tepper, Los Angeles Times

 

"It is the sense of disbelief, the messiness and confusion with which we meet the loss of our loved ones, that Adichie describes so well. Upon hearing the news about her father's death, she collapses, and she writes about that collapse unsparingly . . . More than any other piece I've read recently, Adichie's book captures the harshness of mourning in a time of pandemic ."
--Nilanjana Roy, Financial Times

 

"What is most memorable in this tribute is Adichie's father's love for his family and their enduring love for him. Adichie simply calls him 'the loveliest man.' A raw, moving account of mourning and loss, Adichie's memoir reminds us there is no right or wrong way to grieve and that celebrating life every day is the best way to honor our loved ones."
--Sarojini Seupersad, BookPage

 

"Elegant, moving . . . An affecting paean to the author's father, James Nwoye Adichie. The first professor of statistics in his country, James lived an eventful and sometimes fraught life. Funny and principled, he died during the pandemic--not of the virus but kidney disease. Adichie moves through some of the classic stages of grief, including no small amount of anger. . . Eventually, she reflects on a newfound awareness of mortality and finds a 'new urgency' to live her life and do her work." -- Kirkus [starred review]
 

Essential. --Booklist

Notes on Grief is an exquisite work of meditation, remembrance, and hope, written in the wake of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's beloved father's death in the summer of 2020. As the COVID-19 pandemic raged around the world, and kept Adichie and her family members separated from one another, her father succumbed unexpectedly to complications of kidney failure.

 

Expanding on her original New Yorker piece, Adichie shares how this loss shook her to her core. She writes about being one of the millions of people grieving this year; about the familial and cultural dimensions of grief and also about the loneliness and anger that are unavoidable in it. With signature precision of language, and glittering, devastating detail on the page--and never without touches of rich, honest humor--Adichie weaves together her own experience of her father's death with threads of his life story, from his remarkable survival during the Biafran war, through a long career as a statistics professor, into the days of the pandemic in which he'd stay connected with his children and grandchildren over video chat from the family home in Abba, Nigeria.

 

In the compact format of We Should All Be Feminists and Dear Ijeawele, Adichie delivers a gem of a book--a book that fundamentally connects us to one another as it probes one of the most universal human experiences. Notes on Grief is a book for this moment--a work readers will treasure and share now more than ever--and yet will prove durable and timeless, an indispensable addition to Adichie's canon.

Event date: 
Saturday, July 31, 2021 - 12:00pm
Event address: 
Notes on Grief Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593320808
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - May 11th, 2021