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Nigeria’s Chimamanda Adichie Elected into American Academy of Arts and Letters



Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been elected as a foreign honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Chimamanda joins Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka who was elected in 1986.

Chimamanda was elected alongside 2 other foreigners.

The other foreign honorees are Kaija Saariaho, a Finnish composer, and Zadie Smith, an English writer.

The body disclosed this in a statement, adding that the newly elected members will be inducted at the annual induction and award ceremony in May.

The American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded in 1898 as an honor society of the country’s leading architects, artists, composers, and writers.


“When the American Academy of Arts and Letters holds its annual induction and award ceremony in mid-May, Calvin Trillin, secretary, will induct fourteen members into the 250-person organisation and Yehudi Wyner, president will induct three foreign honorary members,” the Academy said.

The 14 elected Americans who will be inducted in May are:


Mary Heilmann, artist
Julie Mehretu, artist
Annabelle Selldorf, architect
Stanley Whitney, artist


Henri Cole, poet
Junot Diaz, writer
Amy Hempel , writer
Edward Hirsch, poet
Ursula K. Le Guin, writer
Colum McCann, writer
Ann Patchett, writer
Kay Ryan, poet


Melinda Wagner WAGNER, composer
Julia Wolfe, composer

The objective of the Academy include to “foster and sustain an interest in Literature, Music, and the Fine Arts” by administering over 70 awards and prizes, exhibiting art and manuscripts, funding performances of new works of musical theatre, and purchasing artwork for donation to museums across the country.

Some of Chimamanda’s previous awards include, Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2007 (Half of a yellow Sun); The MacArthur Fellowship 2008 for Fiction and The PEN Open Book Award, 2007 (Half of a Yellow Sun).

Photo Credit: Getty Images


  1. Ifeyinwa Atuanya

    March 4, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Congratulations to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    At such a young age, she is forty this year

  2. funmilola

    March 4, 2017 at 10:52 am

    congratulations girl…. keep winning

  3. chychy

    March 4, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Congratulations Chimamanda. I am proud of you. This book..Half of a yellow sun has really taken you places. Keep soaring dear.

  4. A

    March 4, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Nigerians breaking forth on every side… Congrats Ms. Adichie

    • honestina

      March 4, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      Interestingly, I thought of Oge Okoye after reading your comment especially the “on both sides” part.

  5. Tosin

    March 4, 2017 at 12:28 pm

    wow, hot.

  6. o

    March 4, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    That’s a lovely pic. Congratulations.

  7. Iify

    March 4, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    You go girl!!

  8. Ec

    March 4, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Yes girl shine.

  9. baf

    March 4, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Well deserved!! Congrats. She is actually the 4th Nigerian writer to be so honoured, after Achebe, Soyinka and Amos Tutuola.

    • Anon

      March 4, 2017 at 7:04 pm

      Even Amos Tutuola? He was a legend in his own way.

  10. Damilola

    March 4, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    I admire this woman. Congratulations to chimamanda Adichie.

  11. Bowl

    March 4, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    @baf, you mean Amos Tutuola was so honored, Wow! He wasn’t too lettered!.

  12. jennietobbie

    March 4, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Congratulations to you brave one. Thank you for leaving a trail for the rest of us….

  13. Iou

    March 4, 2017 at 8:02 pm

    Congrats dear!

  14. Anti-feminist

    March 5, 2017 at 3:16 am

    Yes, but her filthy feminist hate movement is not so hot. Nor is her henpecked husband.

    • Idomagirl

      March 5, 2017 at 4:17 am

      Shut up.

  15. Idomagirl

    March 5, 2017 at 4:17 am

    Congrats!!! ???

  16. Tru

    March 6, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Go Chimamanda! Big Ups!

  17. Kkay

    March 9, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Keep soaring,girl!!!
    You’re defining inspiring many girls world over especially in Africa.

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