WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 28: Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie reads from one of her novels during the Washington Ideas Forum at the Harman Center for the Arts September 28, 2016 in Washington, DC. Adichie said she would have a very difficult time writing about racism and the recent shootings of unarmed black men in America, saying, "I almost feel that language has failed me." (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)Chip Somodevilla—Getty Images
- TitleNovelist and Essayist
The prize-winning Nigerian writer has won admirers with her prose and a pair of viral TED Talks (one of which was famously sampled by Beyoncé). But Adichie has been most powerful in challenging her audiences to think differently and more expansively about Africa, identity, race, and gender. Many in the English-speaking world have embraced the invitation, and she has emerged as a feminist icon—she tells girls to get over being liked—and a fearless political and cultural critic.