Nigerian award winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has urged writers to tell stories that overtly political to make a difference in the world. She made the charge Tuesday at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany while delivering a keynote address.
The ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ author said there was a need to always tell the truth through writing as humanity had the capacity to pursue what was right and just, saying writers must not allow societal pressures shut them up.
“It is time to expand our boundaries, widen the framework, know that what already exists can sometimes be too narrow to fit the complex multiplicity of human experiences,” she said.
“I think we need more stories that are overtly political, more stories that look the world in the face, but I also think we also need more stories that are not overtly political.”
Adichie said to live in a society that treats every citizen in a just and equal manner is an advantage that should be sought after through “boldness in storytelling.”
“My responsibility as an artist is to my art. My responsibility as a citizen is to the truth and to justice,” she said.
“Art can illuminate politics. Art can humanise politics, but sometimes that is not enough. Sometimes, politics must be engaged with as politics and this could not be more urgent today.
“The world is shifting, it’s changing, it’s darkening. We can no longer play by the old rules of complacency.
“We must invent new ways of doing, new ways of thinking.”
The Frankfurt Book Fair is an annual convergence of publishing experts, writers and cultural enthusiasts from all over the world
The Frankfurt Book Fair is regarded as the world’s largest publishing event.