Adichie to speak at Yale Class Day
NEW HAVEN — The Yale Daily News reports that acclaimed Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will be this year’s Yale University Class Day speaker.
Adichie, also a class of 2008 Yale graduate, is known for such acclaimed books and essays as “Americanah,” “Purple Hibiscus,” “Half of a Yellow Sun” and “We Should All Be Feminists.”
Her litany of literary awards includes the 2013 Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize (fiction category) and the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award, both for “Americanah,” as well as the 2008 MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, the 2018 Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award, and the 2018 PEN Pinter Prize.
In 2017, she was listed among Fortune Magazine’s Greatest Leaders of 2017, and, last year, she was elected by global humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger to receive the 2018 Action Against Hunger Humanitarian Award.
Her web site quoted Action Against Hunger as saying that “Chimamanda Adichie was selected to accept the 2018 Action Against Hunger Humanitarian Award because we are inspired by her unwavering support of women and refugees. As a transformational storyteller who brings diversity, complexity, and humanity to all her professional projects, ranging from best-selling books to TED talks, her work aligns perfectly with Action Against Hunger’s mission and vision.”
According to the Yale Daily News story, Adichie is a bit of a departure for Class Day speakers, in that she is not a politician. The article states that four of the five most recent speakers Class Day speakers — former Secretary of State John Kerry in 2014, former Vice President Joe Biden in 2015, former United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power in 2016 and the Democratic nominee for president in 2016 Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2018 — all served in former President Barack Obama’s administration. In 2017, the speaker was Theo Epstein, a baseball executive who led the Chicago Cubs to World Series glory the previous season.