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Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer - Literature - Nairaland

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Two Nigerians Nominated For 2015 Caine Prize For African Writing / Tope Folarin Wins The 2013 Caine Prize For African Writing / 4 Nigerians Shortlisted For 14th Caine Prize Award. (2) (3) (4)

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Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by viloko: 5:06pm On Jul 15, 2013


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has sparked what could be described as“the battle of Africa’s Literary Giants”. Kiyoandfilo gathered that the author of ‘Americana’ in a recent interview, made nonsense of the Caine Prize for African Writing, which was won by Nigerian writer Tope Folarin.

In the interview conducted by American graduate student and blogger Aaron Bady, Chimamanda also made reference to another Ngerian writer Elnathan John, as “one of my boys”

Here's an excerpt
AB: I would love to ask you about the Caine Prize. I find it interesting that so many Nigerians are on the short list this year—that it’s four Nigerians out of five . . .

CA: Umm, why is that a problem? Watch it.

AB: Well, none of them are you!

CA: Elnathan was one of my boys in my workshop. But what’s all this over-privileging of the Caine Prize, anyway? I don’t want to talk about the Caine Prize, really. I suppose it’s a good thing, but for me it’s not the arbiter of the best fiction in Africa. It’s never been. I know that Chinelo is on the short list, too. But I haven’t even read the stories—I’m just not very interested. I don’t go the Caine Prize to look for the best in African fiction.

AB: Where do you go?

CA: I go to my mailbox, where my workshop people send me their stories. I could give you a list of ten—mostly in Nigeria—writers who I think are very good. They’re not on the Caine Prize short list.

Also, you do realize that Nigeria is the most populous country, and we have a crazy, chauvinistic nationalism. So when you say anything bad about Nigeria, we attack you, but when we all go back to Nigeria, we attack each other. That’s how it works. We’re very happy that there are four. Actually, we think all the people on the short list should be Nigerians, because we are born with the natural arrogance of the Nigerians. Of course, what’s wonderful is that there’s nothing to be arrogant about. Nigerians feel very superior to Ghana, for example, but then you go to Accra, and Accra actually works [laughs].

Who’s the other Nigerian on the short list? There’s Chinelo and Elnathan but I don’t know who the others are.

AB: Well, there are four: Elnathan [John], Chinelo [Okparanta], Tope [Folarin] . . . [Note: The fourth is Abubakar Adam Ibrahim] This is where I remember that my brain is extremely American; I mispronounce names left and right.

CA: Why is that American?

AB: Well, Yoruba and Igbo names don’t spell the way I expect. I get it when I’m teaching African literature and my students complain that every character has an impossible name. It’s kind of embarrassing, then, when I’m doing it, too, and I know I’m doing it.

CA: Why is it embarrassing? When I used to read these Russian novels when I was growing up, I had no idea how to pronounce the names, so I used to think, ok, this is character whose name starts with an I—you know how they have the Ivan, Ivanovich sorts of things—so I would just say, ok, this is the 'I' character. That’s actually very American, your reaction, being embarrassed. Why should you be? No, it’s very liberal. To be embarrassed that you think that Igbo and Yoruba names are confusing—but wouldn’t they be? You’re not a Yoruba or Igbo speaker. I think Polish names are confusing. The Cs and Ss, and the Cs and the Ws come too close together—it throws me off. It’s a very liberal thing.

Of course, I say this as kind of a pseudo-member of the tribe. That’s the other thing, since that part of the book is also— well, there’s a lot of self-mockery, a lot of poking fun at my own tribe. My American tribe is a left-leaning tribe that occupies a place of immense privilege. Most of my friends are people who care about organic food. And I care about organic food, but I’m also amused by it, and I laugh at it. Because, you know, there’s a vast, vast world out there that doesn’t care about locally sourced chicken, right? It’s one of the things that I want to poke pins in.

http://bostonreview.net/fiction/varieties-blackness

Apparently angered by Chimamanda’s comment, Abubakar Ibrahim who was also shortlisted for the 2013 Caine Prize took to twitter and fired;

“So the best African fiction is in Chimamanda Adichie's inbox? I hail thee, queen-god mother. Go f**k yourself, Chimamanda. Nonsense!”



MORE on http://kiyoandfilo.blogspot.com/2013/07/chimamanda-disses-caine-prize-abubakar.html

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by kaorama(m): 6:35pm On Jul 15, 2013
If this truly is the outburst of a shortlisted writer, then Chimamanda is very correct.

And hope Prof. Wole doesn't take her up on this cos these days men are honestly misrepresenting.

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by dplomaticVal: 7:00pm On Jul 15, 2013
Ms Adichie shld take things easy,she havnt gone that far to expect her name be enlisted in every of African literary award...she's only authored 3 novels if im nt mistaken viz - Half a yellow, the controversial Americanah and Purple hibiscus which i think brought her to limelight.

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by Nobody: 7:22pm On Jul 15, 2013
dplomaticVal: Ms Adichie shld take things easy,she havnt gone that far to expect her name be enlisted in every of African literary award...she's only authored 3 novels if im nt mistaken viz - Half a yellow, the controversial Americanah and Purple hibiscus which i think brought her to limelight.

If you say Chimamanda hasn't gone that far: Then I think you a TOTALLY ignorant. Chimamanda is even more famous in the United States and Europe that she is in Nigeria, and you say she has not gone that far! Well I will blame it on ignorance!

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by homesteady(m): 9:04pm On Jul 15, 2013
Did she really say all those things??
Please someone tell me it's just rumour!!

My Gosh!! It stinks of arrogance!!

Bia chimamanda, you owe us an apology!!

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by JIGHU(m): 10:52pm On Jul 15, 2013
homesteady: Did she really say all those things??
Please someone tell me it's just rumour!!

My Gosh!! It stinks of arrogance!!

Bia chimamanda, you owe us an apology!!
no she does not...are you a learner? She is the best thing after Soyinka and Achebe

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by psky: 11:33pm On Jul 15, 2013
She did sound arrogant, but that is no way for a shortlisted writer to reply her: "go 4k yourself"? Seriously?

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by kokoA(m): 11:50pm On Jul 15, 2013
Personally I feel Chimamanda is over-hyped. She is a very good writer no doubt, but her books to me aren't anything out of the ordinary. The other dude went to far with his anger though..

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by senorova(m): 11:58pm On Jul 15, 2013
Nigerians sometimes have a difficulty in interpreting simple English! All that Adichie simply meant was that the award nominee list was biased in the sense that notable upcoming writers were overlooked. Simple!

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by tpia5: 12:08am On Jul 16, 2013
Can someone translate the original post, i dont understand. Is this story the product of someone's imagination?

What does inbox and one of my boys mean?

Are her boys and girls also here in nl, possibly filling literature section together with the so-called mod over there, because there seems to be a strange dejavu relating to literature section, in this matter.
Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by obowunmi(m): 4:42am On Jul 16, 2013
Now Achebe is dead....who will give her honest review of her work?

Americanah SUCKED.

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by Chanchit: 4:48am On Jul 16, 2013
senor_ova: Nigerians sometimes have a difficulty in interpreting simple English! All that Adichie simply meant was that the award nominee list was biased in the sense that notable upcoming writers were overlooked. Simple!

Chinamanda of all people should knw how the world works, you can't expect good lit' works to jump from your inbox to winning awards all over. If she knws that a story should be nominated, then she should play the full politics of making sure its been nominated or better still shut the F up.
I just hate it when people cry foul on silly issues. She don fall my hand.

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by fr3do(m): 5:18am On Jul 16, 2013
Purple hibiscus
I love that book!

1 Like

Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by homesteady(m): 6:19am On Jul 16, 2013
JIGHU: no she does not...are you a learner? She is the best thing after Soyinka and Achebe

Hey!! You are the learner here!! So because she is the best thing after soyinka and achebe, she can go up and down spewing thrash??

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by dplomaticVal: 7:36am On Jul 16, 2013
To the piglet who quoted me, I'd ve ignored u blitheringly because the means u chose to display ur childish exuberancy lacks decorum to the core. Notwithstanding, IF Adichie ws so Famed in US and Europe as u sheepishly asserted then we shd be asking u why she havnt won a single prize there. Besides,it's crystal clear that she made her literary debut lately,though she've caved a niche for herself bt that dosnt giv her the prerogative and audacity to dictate for Africans on who they shd giv literary prizes and who they shldnt.

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by hardniola(m): 8:37am On Jul 16, 2013
if dis is true, then shes showing how not to be a model to upcoming writers

1 Like

Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by homesteady(m): 8:51am On Jul 16, 2013
hardniola: if dis is true, then shes showing how not to be a model to upcoming writers

100000 likes!!

I'm yet to believe she said all those things!!

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by yuzedo: 8:53am On Jul 16, 2013
Hahaha! I went through this Abubakr's tweets and i am impressed by his soundness of mind and zero-attitude to brown-nosing!

Adichie needs to chill if she has a chip on her shoulder. I understand that it can be a little hard imbibing/maintaining humility with all the attention and reverence she receives, but honestly? Honestly? Purple Hibiscus was MEDIOCRE!!! Half of a Yellow Sun was either a tour-de-force or a stroke of luck; for the benefit of all that hard work she put into it, i'll concede the former. Americanah? Haven't bothered reading, but the reviews haven't been encouraging.. Even as This Thing Around Your Neck didn't cause a buzz.

The literary world is such an egotistic, insecure one, with negative competition rife and playing to the gallery the in-thing. Chimamanda feels threatened by young turks, that's the simple truth, and maybe understandably so.

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by homesteady(m): 9:26am On Jul 16, 2013
yuzedo: Hahaha! I went through this Abubakr's tweets and i am impressed by his soundness of mind and zero-attitude to brown-nosing!

Adichie needs to chill if she has a chip on her shoulder. I understand that it can be a little hard imbibing/maintaining humility with all the attention and reverence she receives, but honestly? Honestly? Purple Hibiscus was MEDIOCRE!!! Half of a Yellow Sun was either a tour-de-force or a stroke of luck; for the benefit of all that hard work she put into it, i'll concede the former. Americanah? Haven't bothered reading, but the reviews haven't been encouraging.. Even as This Thing Around Your Neck didn't cause a buzz.

The literary world is such an egotistic, insecure one, with negative competition rife and playing to the gallery the in-thing. Chimamanda feels threatened by young turks, that's the simple truth, and maybe understandably so.

Oga Yuzedo!! How dare you belittle Purple hibiscus!! cool !! That book was superb!! Oh no!! I don't want to remember that bathtub scene!! When he poured hot water on her leg!! #Runing away screaming!!

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by yuzedo: 9:33am On Jul 16, 2013
^^^ *shrugs* It is what it is, bruh. You can't compare it with say, Sefi Attah's (Everything Good Will Come). I don't even want to call the real ogas like Ben Okri (Famished Road).. Ah! Ejoor o! shocked cheesy

See, Purple Hibiscus is a good debut, no doubt; but it is far from a great book. Can never be rated a classic.. Half Of a Yellow Sun? Yes. Purple Hibiscus? No. Respect to Adichie, nonetheless.

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by Rhino5dm: 9:36am On Jul 16, 2013
Na today? This was the same way Chinua Achebe rubbished Wole Soyinka, when he won the Nobel prize in 1986.Abubakar did well by teaching this arrogant B**** some manners

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by kreamidiva(f): 9:41am On Jul 16, 2013
Yuzedo na u dey blow all dis big big grammar cool Hmmm...

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by homesteady(m): 9:59am On Jul 16, 2013
yuzedo: ^^^ *shrugs* It is what it is, bruh. You can't compare it with say, Sefi Attah's (Everything Good Will Come). I don't even want to call the real ogas like Ben Okri (Famished Road).. Ah! Ejoor o! shocked cheesy

See, Purple Hibiscus is a good debut, no doubt; but it is far from a great book. Can never be rated a classic.. Half Of a Yellow Sun? Yes. Purple Hibiscus? No. Respect to Adichie, nonetheless.

You might be right!! I'm not really into African literature!!
As for me!! She is the best African writer!! I prefer her books to Achebe and Soyinka books!! Please Nobody should stone me oh, its just my opinion

1 Like

Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by yuzedo: 10:02am On Jul 16, 2013
homesteady:

You might be right!! I'm not really into African literature!!
As for!! She is the best African writer!! I prefer her books to Achebe and Soyinka books!! Please Nobody should stone me oh, its just my opinion
[size=18pt]WHATTTTTTT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! shocked shocked shocked [/size]
**STONES WITH 40TONNE BOULDERS** angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry

You really aren't into African Literature! undecided

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by Double194(m): 10:10am On Jul 16, 2013
homesteady:

You might be right!! I'm not really into African literature!!
As for!! She is the best African writer!! I prefer her books to Achebe and Soyinka books!! Please Nobody should stone me oh, its just my opinion
Thank God U said U are not really into African Literature cos on a scale of 1 to 10, her books score -0 in comparison to Achebe not to talk of the icon Soyinka [I still read his books with a Dictonary next to me].
For anyone who thinks Americanah was splendid. Why not get ur self a copy of There was a country by Achebe or Konga`s Wrath by Soyinka and see that she is still an over-hyped learner.

1 Like

Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by slimyem: 10:15am On Jul 16, 2013
obowunmi: Now Achebe is dead....who will give her honest review of her work?

Americanah SUCKED.
please where can I get a soft copy of Americana ..for free o cool

1 Like

Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by homesteady(m): 10:26am On Jul 16, 2013
yuzedo:
[size=18pt]WHATTTTTTT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! shocked shocked shocked [/size]
**STONES WITH 40TONNE BOULDERS** angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry angry

You really aren't into African Literature! undecided

LOLss !! I dodge am!!
Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by slimyem: 10:27am On Jul 16, 2013
senor_ova: Nigerians sometimes have a difficulty in interpreting simple English! All that Adichie simply meant was that the award nominee list was biased in the sense that notable upcoming writers were overlooked. Simple!
If this was what she was trying to imply,she could have said it in a way that wouldn't insult anyone's sensiblities.
"Words" is/are the fuel she drives with. She knew what she was saying and could have said it better if she wanted to

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by fr3do(m): 10:29am On Jul 16, 2013
Double194:
Thank God U said U are not really into African Literature cos on a scale of 1 to 10, her books score -0 in comparison to Achebe not to talk of the icon Soyinka [I still read his books with a Dictonary next to me].
For anyone who thinks Americanah was splendid. Why not get ur self a copy of There was a country by Achebe or Konga`s Wrath by Soyinka and see that she is still an over-hyped learner.

that's ur subjective view.
As for me,i like her writing
Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by homesteady(m): 10:40am On Jul 16, 2013
Double194:
Thank God U said U are not really into African Literature cos on a scale of 1 to 10, her books score -0 in comparison to Achebe not to talk of the icon Soyinka [I still read his books with a Dictonary next to me].
For anyone who thinks Americanah was splendid. Why not get ur self a copy of There was a country by Achebe or Konga`s Wrath by Soyinka and see that she is still an over-hyped learner.

I just bought there was a country yesterday!! I'm sure the book would be very interesting!! I've only read the introduction, when I read this part "Great britain was handed the area of West Africa that would later become Nigeria, like a piece of chocolate cake at a birthday party" I was like!! Menh!! This book would be very interesting!!

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by slap1(m): 10:56am On Jul 16, 2013
JIGHU: no she does not...are you a learner? She is the best thing after Soyinka and Achebe
I wanted to say that you don't know Nigerian literature, but I realized that your opinion is your entitlement.
Adichie is good, no doubt, but you don't mention her in the same sentence with the surreal Soyinka or the pre-gifted Achebe. Not yet.
And you forget (or are not aware maybe) of the generation of Buchi Emecheta or Flora Nwapa? Joys of Motherhood and Efuru, I dare say, are much deeper, engaging and richer than Adichie's works, so far.
Purple Hibiscus is good, but that's all. It's nothing exceptional. I rate Kaine Agary's Yellow Yellow above it.
Please, take time to read other great Nigerian writers, not just the hyped or favoured ones.

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Re: Chimamanda's Comment About The Caine Prize Angers Writer by slap1(m): 11:11am On Jul 16, 2013
homesteady:

You might be right!! I'm not really into African literature!!
As for me!! She is the best African writer!! I prefer her books to Achebe and Soyinka books!! Please Nobody should stone me oh, its just my opinion
Do you know that Africa is bigger than Nigeria? What are you guys on about? Ben Okri, Emecheta, Okey Ndibe, Chika Unigwe, Maik Nwosu, Chris Abani, etc, are all 'sweet' writers!
Have you read a paragraph of anything from E. C. Osondu or Ikhide Ikheloa? Na wa for una o!

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