Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has published three novels and a short story collection; she was awarded a MacArthur “genius” grant in 2008, and her latest novel, Americanah won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction in 2013. Still, when Beyoncé quoted from Adichie’s TED talk “We Should All Be Feminists” for her song “Flawless,” the author ascended to a new level of fame. In a wide-ranging profile written by Larissa MacFarquhar for The New Yorker, Adichie addresses the increased scrutiny of her interviews and public statements, dives deep into the sights, sounds, and places that have inspired her work, and considers her legacy.

When she talks about feminism or gay rights in Nigeria, she knows what she’s getting into, and she does it on purpose. But her celebrity is such that even an offhand remark can set off a fracas that she did not anticipate. A few years ago…

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