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Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
Cover of Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions
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An instant feminist classic, and perfect gift for all parents, women, and people working towards gender equality. Here is a brilliant, beautifully readable, and above all practical expansion of the...
An instant feminist classic, and perfect gift for all parents, women, and people working towards gender equality. Here is a brilliant, beautifully readable, and above all practical expansion of the...
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  • An instant feminist classic, and perfect gift for all parents, women, and people working towards gender equality. Here is a brilliant, beautifully readable, and above all practical expansion of the ideas this iconic author began to explore in her bestselling manifesto, We Should All Be Feminists.
    A few years ago, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie received a letter from a dear friend from childhood, asking how to raise her new baby girl a feminist. 
         Although she has written and spoken out widely about feminism, Adichie wasn't sure how to advise her friend Ijeawele. But as a person who'd babysat, had loved her nieces and nephews, and now, too, was the mother of a daughter herself, she thought she would try. So she sent Ijeawele a letter with some suggestions—15 in all—which she has now decided to share with the world.
         Compelling, direct, wryly funny, and perceptive, Dear Ijeawele offers specifics on how we can empower our daughters to become strong, independent women. Here, too, are ways parents can raise their children—both sons and daughters—beyond a culture's limiting gender prescriptions. This short, sharp work rings out in Chimamanda's voice: infused with deep honesty, clarity, strength, and above all love. She speaks to the important work of raising a girl in today's world, and provides her readers with a clear proposal for inclusive, nuanced thinking. Here we have not only a rousing manifesto, but a powerful gift for all people invested in the idea of creating a just society—an endeavour now more urgent and important than ever.

Excerpts-

  • From the book When a couple of years ago a friend of mine from childhood, who'd grown into a brilliant, strong, kind woman, asked me to tell her how to raise her baby girl a feminist, my first thought was that I did not know.

    It felt like too huge a task.

    But I had spoken publicly about feminism and perhaps that made her feel I was an expert on the subject. I had over the years also helped care for many babies of loved ones; I had worked as a babysitter and helped raise my nephews and nieces. I had done a lot of watching and listening, and I had done even more thinking.

    In response to my friend's request, I decided to write her a letter, which I hoped would be honest and practical, while also serving as a map of sorts for my own feminist thinking. This book is a version of that letter, with some details changed.

    Now that I, too, am the mother of a delightful baby girl, I realize how easy it is to dispense advice about raising a child when you are not facing the enormously complex reality of it yourself. Still, I think it is morally urgent to have honest conversations about raising children differently, about trying to create a fairer world for women and men.

    My friend sent me a reply saying she would "try" to follow my suggestions.

    And in rereading these as a mother, I, too, am determined to try.

About the Author-

  • CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE grew up in Nigeria. Her work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared in various publications, including The New Yorker, Granta, The O. Henry Prize Stories, the Financial Times, and Zoetrope: All-Story. She is the author of the novels Purple Hibiscus, which won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Orange Prize and was a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, a New York Times Notable Book, and a People and Black Issues Book Review Best Book of the Year; Americanah, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was a New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Entertainment Weekly Best Book of the Year; and the story collection The Thing Around Your Neck. A recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.

Reviews-

  • Library Journal

    Starred review from May 15, 2017

    "Teach her that the idea of 'gender roles' is absolute nonsense." This excellent series of essays is award-winning author Adichie's (Americanah) response to a friend's question on how to raise her daughter as a feminist. Adichie shines a light on gender issues in modern society through wise advice dispensed with droll wit and deep earnestness. Writing with tender conviction about encouraging girls to pick up a helicopter instead of, or in addition to, a doll, Adichie explains that to be feminist, women do not have to give up their femininity. We may choose to be brides, but we should also be taught to be independent, that marriage isn't the only option. In other words, a mother should remain her own person, refusing to give up her identity, which is often used to justify oppression. But it's not just women learning to navigate the confusing waters of gender identity; Adichie also offers guidance for teaching men how to embrace feminism and reject rigid gender roles, too. VERDICT A fast read and vital addition to all collections. Anyone interested in social change will enjoy.--Venessa Hughes, Buffalo, NY

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Chinua Achebe "[E]ndowed with the gift of ancient storytellers. Adichie knows what is at stake, and what to do about it. She is fearless."
  • Toronto Star "Adichie is both a grand storyteller and an incisive social commentator."
  • The Globe and Mail "One of the most artful writers of the English language."
  • The Cut "We probably don't deserve Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. The author and feminist who inspired Beyoncé is now fighting America's political battles, and man is she good at it."
  • Okayafrica "[O]ne of the world's leading thinkers and a true champion of women's rights."
  • Global Atlanta "Considered the literary successor of the recently deceased Chinua Achebe, Adichie navigates cultural, social and personal complexities with great dexterity."
  • Daily Maverick "All her life Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has been writing in the shadow of an African literary giant. But Chinua Achebe's gone now, and it is Adichie's turn to stake her claim as Nigeria's pre-eminent author and one of Africa's most important voices. . . . Nigeria's got a ready-made replacement [for Chinua Achebe] in the wings."
  • Lisa Moore, author of Caught "Adiche's prose is lush and acerbic, arch and sexy and politically exacting."
  • The New York Times Book Review "Immensely talented."
  • The Sunday Telegraph "Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's incessant curiosity about people is what makes her such a wonderful storyteller."
  • Interview "[Adichie's] unflinching, multi-arc redemption stories bridge the gap between Africa and the West, in a vein perhaps only comparable to that of the late, missed Chinua Achebe."
  • The Guardian "[O]ne of the most beloved and critically lauded writers working today."
  • The Scotsman "Adichie has shown herself a powerful writer, moving with disquieting ease from humour to horror, and anger to tenderness."
  • The Telegraph "A fiction writer of exceptional talent."

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    Knopf Canada
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