Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Nigerian novelist, non-fiction writer
Forthcoming: Dear Ijeawele, Or A Feminist Manifesto In Fifteen Suggestions (Penguin Random House)
People were flattered to be asked about themselves and if she said nothing after they spoke, it made them say more. They were conditioned to fill silences. If they asked what she did, she would say vaguely, “I write a lifestyle blog,” because saying “I write an anonymous blog called Raceteenth Or Various Observations About American Blacks (Those Formerly Known As Negroes) By A Non-American Black” would make them uncomfortable. She had said it, though, a few times. Once to a dreadlocked white man who sat next to her on the train, his hair like old twine ropes that ended in a blond fuzz, his tattered shirt worn with enough piety to convince her that he was a social warrior and might make a good guest blogger. “Race is totally overhyped these days, black people need to get over themselves, it’s all about class now, the haves and the have-nots,” he told her evenly, and she used it as the opening sentence of a post titled “Not All Dreadlocked White American Guys Are Down”.
From Americanah (Penguin Random House, 2014)
A 12-part series of portraits selected for Lounge by Rohit Chawla, who has photographed over 200 authors at the Jaipur Literature Festival over a decade. His exhibition, The Inspired Frame, by Tasveer opens on 9 March at Bikaner House, Delhi