The Nigerian-born Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was longlisted for her debut novel Purple Hibiscus. To date, she is the only Booker writer to have her words sampled by Beyoncé.

Adichie was just 27 when she was longlisted for the Booker Prize. She came to writing after moving to the United States aged 19, having initially studied medicine in Nigeria. She cut her teeth on poetry and short stories before turning to full-length fiction. Purple Hibiscus led to a vertiginous rise in public consciousness, which sees Adichie now not just as a writer but also as a prominent voice on issues such as African literature, feminism, LGBT rights and cancel culture. Her TEDx talk ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ was sampled by Beyoncé in her 2013 song Flawless. In 2022 she was selected to deliver a Reith Lecture on the subject of freedom of speech.

A sensitive and touching story of a child exposed too early to religious intolerance and the uglier side of the Nigerian state.

— J. M. Coetzee on Purple Hibiscus

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Reni Eddo-Lodge in conversation at The Southbank Centre

It’s always validating to be recognised by prizes but I made the conscious decision years ago that what truly matters to me is to be read, actually read.

— Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in response to Margaret Busby in the Guardian 2020

All nominated books

Purple Hibiscus