Nigerian Writer Adichie: “I do not want to use my art as an armour of neutrality”

Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been awarded the Pen Pinter Prize, which is given to an outstanding writer who shows “the real truth of our lives and our societies.” Here is an excerpt from her Oct 9 acceptance speech, as quoted in The Guardian:

“But my writing gave me a platform to speak about issues that I have always cared about,” she [Adichie] said. “”I do not want to use my art as an armour of neutrality behind which to hide”. I am a writer and I am a citizen, and I see my speaking out on social issues as a responsibility of citizenship. I am struck by how often this speaking out is met, in Nigeria, not with genuine engagement, whether to agree or disagree, but with a desire to silence me. A journalist once helpfully summed it up for me: people don’t like it when you talk about feminism, they just want you to shut up and write.”

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