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The novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has had commercial and critical success: Her best-seller “Americanah” won a National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction, and a speech she gave on feminism was sampled by Beyoncé. But Adichie is skeptical of fame, and not afraid to voice controversial opinions. At The New Yorker Festival in October, 2017, she spoke with David Remnick about how the left in this country seems “cannibalistic,” and how, as a Nigerian immigrant to America, she at first distanced herself from our country’s conception of blackness. America was complicated for Adichie: she appreciated the freedom from the social hierarchies back home, but she had imagined everything would be newer and shinier than it really was.

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