Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is easily one of the most celebrated African authors of all time, and with how thoughtfully she creates textured stories populated with three-dimensional characters, it’s not that hard to see why.
With three acclaimed novels under her belt — Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah — each stacked with memorable characters, we expect her to have grown attached to a few, and she has just revealed which of them she admires the most.
In a recent interview with Elle India, where she talks about everything from feminism to food, Chimamanda reveals how she creates her characters, and whether or not they stay with her after she’s done writing them.
About how she creates them, she said:
"Characters are sometimes based on real people, and sometimes not. But even when they are, they are never really those people.
I invent and remake. More often, characters are a reinvention of an amalgam of people."
About the characters she admires the most, she continued:
"There are characters I admire — like Kainene in Half Of A Yellow Sun, Ifemelu and Obinze in Americanah, Aunty Ifeoma in Purple Hibiscus — and I feel a sense of loss when I am done writing them, but I’m not sure it would be true to say that they stay with me."
For the rest of the expectedly fantastic interview, she talks about how she gets started writing a new book or piece, how much of a book is in her mind before she actually starts writing, and how much her mother inspired her growing up.
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