African Novelist Chimamanda Adichie Shares Her Story

Africa's Heartbeat

“At about the age of seven … I wrote exactly the kinds of stories I was reading: All my characters were white and blue-eyed, they played in the snow, they ate apples, and they talked a lot about the weather: how lovely it was that the sun had come out. This despite the fact that I lived in Nigeria; we didn’t have snow, we ate mangoes, and we never talked about the weather, because there was no need to.”

These are the words of Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Adichie as she presents at Ted Speaks about growing up and reading stories written by American and Britain authors who portrayed stories about life through their eyes — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They…

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