Abstract

This essay examines the representation of and role played by religion in the works of Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie over a period of almost fifteen years, from her first published book, the collection of poems Decisions (1997), to one of her most recent short stories, “Miracle” (2011). By establishing a dialogue between Adichie’s creative writing, her nonfictional texts, and statements from interviews, this article outlines the development of the writer’s reflections on her own Catholic faith, but also on Islam, Pentecostalism, and traditional Igbo religion. It is argued that the recurrent features and evolutions discerned in Adichie’s work variously testify to her growing awareness of the interaction between the ethnic, religious, social, and political forces that have shaped postcolonial Nigeria; to her willingness to denounce religious extremism in all its guises; and to her suspicion that the main role of spiritual movements may be to help human beings in the repression of their metaphysical anxieties. As this final item indicates, Adichie’s approach to the divine, and especially to the Catholic faith, is far from straightforward and bespeaks an ambiguity that is examined throughout the essay.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1527-2044
Print ISSN
0034-5210
Pages
pp. 50-71
Launched on MUSE
2013-07-26
Open Access
No
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