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Grief, a Cruel Kind of Education, says Chimamanda Adichie

Renowned Nigerian-born award winning writer, Chimamanda Adichie has said that grief is a cruel kind of education.

The ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ author held a reading for her recent work, ‘Notes on Grief’, on Saturday, January 15, 2022, at Alliance Francaise, Ikoyi, Lagos, where she reiterated that she did not think she could pass on the love she had for her late father to another person.

The book is dedicated to the writer’s late father, Prof James Adichie.

The event began with an opening address from the French ambassador to Nigeria, Emmanuelle Blatmann.

Adichie recalled how she and her siblings used to set up Zoom calls to talk with her father at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

She added that when her father passed away, her daughter became scared of how she (Chimamanda) reacted.

She said, “Grief is a cruel kind of education. You learn how ungentle mourning can be, how full of anger you learn and how glib condolences can feel. The pain is not surprising but its physicality is. Grief is forcing new skins on me, scrapping scales from my eyes.”

The writer also thanked business mogul, Mike Adenuga, for his ‘extraordinary contribution that made all this happen’.

She maintained that since the centre was opened, it had supported the cultural vision of Lagos.

Another publisher and writer, Eghosa Imasuen, also revealed that when he lost his father in 2018, Adichie was among the first persons to call him from the United States of America.

He noted that there was no better way to grief with someone than to be there for the person, and Adichie was there for him.

He added, “It is one thing for us to say that our children should bury us; it is another thing for us to experience it. Nothing prepares you for this.”

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