Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian writer who burst onto the literary scene in 2003 with her debut novel Purple Hibiscus, will deliver the 2014 Moe Lecture in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies at 7 p.m. Monday, March 10 in Alumni Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public, and will also be live streamed on the Gustavus website.
Purple Hibiscus, the story of a 15-year old Nigerian girl from a wealthy family with a fanatically religious and tyrannical father, received wide critical acclaim, was shortlisted for the Orange Fiction Prize, and was awarded the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book. Adichie’s second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, is set before and during the Biafran War of the 1960s. It received the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction and has been adapted into a film starring Academy Award nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor that is set for release in 2014.
In 2013, Adichie published her third novel, Americanah, which was selected by The New York Times as one of The 10 Best Books of 2013. The book is a story of love and race centered around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home. After falling in love as teenagers, Ifemelu and Obinze lose touch with one another when Ifemelu flees Nigeria to study in America. Years later they are reunited in Nigeria, but when they reignite their shared passion for their homeland and for each other they face the toughest decisions of their lives.
Adichie holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and political science from Eastern Connecticut State University, a master’s degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University, and a master’s degree in African studies from Yale University. She was a Hodder fellow at Princeton University during the 2005-06 academic year, received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2008, and a fellowship from Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in 2011-12.
Adichie will sign copies of her books following Monday’s lecture and will also be visiting Gustavus classrooms on Tuesday, March 11.
The Moe Visiting Lectureship is endowed by Robert and Karin Moe in honor of their daughter, Kris Burke Moe, class of 1984. Since its inaugural year in 1997, the Moe Lectureship has afforded Gustavus the opportunity to bring top feminist scholars to campus from the fields of biology, English, nursing, philosophy, history, and theatre.
In addition to their generous support of the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies lecture, the Moe Family made a $1 million commitment in the fall of 2007 to the John S. Kendall Center for Engaged Learning, which is dedicated to advancing active and interdisciplinary learning across the campus.
For more information about this year’s Moe Lecture, contact Professor of Political Science and Director of the Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies Program Jill Locke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 507-933-6226.
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin