Thanks to Beyoncé's song "Flawless," a feminist trojan horse of sorts, Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is getting tons of attention right now. In addition to penning novels like Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun (the latter has been made into an upcoming film), she's amazing speaker who is vocal about gender equality. But even while talking politics and literature, Adichie’s just like us: She loves shoes and clothes; and when her work isn’t going so well, she retreats to her bed to eat chocolate. I can respect that.
When you’re working on a novel, what does a typical day look like for you?
When the writing is going well, I’m obsessive. I don’t shower, I don’t take phone calls, I hardly respond to text messages, I don’t do email. I take breaks only to read, and usually I read poetry. When it’s not going well, I just lie in bed and eat chocolate. …
Beyoncé sampled part of your TED Talk, “Everyone Should Be A Feminist,” in her recent song “***Flawless” (watch it below). In the talk, you said that the first time someone called you a feminist, you didn’t know what it meant. So what does it mean to you now?
It means that I am present in the world, and that I realize that there is a problem with the way we’ve constructed gender. The expectations on women that most of the world subscribes to—I don’t think we are born with them. I think we create them. I want a world where men and women have equal opportunities. I want a world in which the idea of a man being with man, and a woman being with a woman, doesn’t cause a form of obstruction to anything that they want to achieve in their life. …
What about cooking? It feels like such a big part of 'Americanah'—do you like to cook or was that researched, too?
When I’m in a good mood I like to cook. But I don’t like saying it in public because I find myself being resentful of the idea; “Now you will make a good wife. You can cook, right?” So when people ask me I go, “No, I don’t like cooking!”
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