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Notes on Grief

Notes on Grief

For all those tragic situations for which you think, “I don’t have the words..” - here are the words.  I can’t say it better than this description from Good Reads:  … “signature precision of language, and glittering, devastating detail on the page--and never without touches of rich, honest humor…” this book is Adichie’s beautiful sharing of her father’s death during the summer of 2020. Her inability to travel to Nigeria to be with him or the family, adds another layer of grieving and she acknowledges that though her loss is personal, collectively we are all in stages of bereavement for the way the world has turned in the last couple years.  I found this book gave voice to feelings I couldn’t articulate myself and ultimately left me with hope. Here is a nugget:  “It is an act of resistance and refusal: grief telling you it is over and your heart saying it is not: grief trying to shrink your love to the past and your heart saying it is present."  And I hope she writes a biography of her father next!  He’s fascinating and she barely touches on all he did; here she focuses on who he was to her - so touching! - Carrie

From the globally acclaimed, best-selling novelist and author of We Should All Be Feminists, a timely and deeply personal account of the loss of her father: "With raw eloquence, Notes on Grief ... captures the bewildering messiness of loss in a society that requires serenity, when you'd rather just scream. Grief is impolite ... Adichie's words put welcome, authentic voice to this most universal of emotions, which is also one of the most universally avoided" (The Washington Post).

Notes on Grief is an exquisite work of meditation, remembrance, and hope, written in the wake of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's beloved father's death in the summer of 2020. As the COVID-19 pandemic raged around the world, and kept Adichie and her family members separated from one another, her father succumbed unexpectedly to complications of kidney failure.

Expanding on her original New Yorker piece, Adichie shares how this loss shook her to her core. She writes about being one of the millions of people grieving this year; about the familial and cultural dimensions of grief and also about the loneliness and anger that are unavoidable in it. With signature precision of language, and glittering, devastating detail on the page--and never without touches of rich, honest humor--Adichie weaves together her own experience of her father's death with threads of his life story, from his remarkable survival during the Biafran war, through a long career as a statistics professor, into the days of the pandemic in which he'd stay connected with his children and grandchildren over video chat from the family home in Abba, Nigeria.

In the compact format of We Should All Be Feminists and Dear Ijeawele, Adichie delivers a gem of a book--a book that fundamentally connects us to one another as it probes one of the most universal human experiences. Notes on Grief is a book for this moment--a work readers will treasure and share now more than ever--and yet will prove durable and timeless, an indispensable addition to Adichie's canon.

Publication Date: 
May 11, 2021