Revisiting Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Debut Novel “Purple Hibiscus”
With all the racial struggles and political instability of our present, not limited only to the U.S., I feel it’s important to pay attention to cultures foreign to our own to get a better understanding of the circumstances that lead to events today. Not only that, but there are authors around the globe who are excellent storytellers and have a unique vision to share with the world. One such author is Nigerian Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (whom you might know as the one Beyonce sampled in “Flawless”), a woman that has become an important voice for African literature.
Her debut novel Purple Hibiscus was published in 2003 to widespread acclaim–a fact that started her journey towards literary recognition. The novel tells the story of Kambili Achike, a teenage Nigerian girl, and the struggles she faces within her family circle. Most of the book covers the private facets of family relationships and how these are tainted by a violent father, all the while narrated from Kambili’s point of view.
The novel is a definite stand-out of African literature for its astounding quality and intimate nature. A tale so visceral yet at the same time so real is a rare gem in today’s literary scene, and one which calls to mind Toni Morrison’s Beloved, albeit without supernatural elements. Consider reading Adichie’s debut novel and immerse yourself in great contemporary literature.