Book Review: Notes On Grief by Chimammanda Ngozi Adichie

“Grief is a cruel kind of education. You learn how ungentle mourning can be, how full of anger. You learn how glib condolences can feel. You learn how much grief is about language, the failure of language and the grasping for language”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Notes on Grief

This is a very raw and deeply relatable memoir on grief and the grieving process. My heart goes out to Chimammanda and her entire family.

Grief in my experience just stays beneath the surface because as I read this book, I couldn’t help but shed fresh tears for my loved ones that have passed away. My immediate elder sister, who was also my friend, cheerleader, second mother and confidant died a little over ten years ago right before my eyes and I have never really gotten over her death. In 2018, my mother and her younger sister who were my anchors, role models and comforters also passed away suddenly and these three losses have created a vacuum and caused a total shift in my life. The author’s words in this book fully mirror my thoughts, emotions and experiences at my times of loss and even after. It is comforting to find people who understand.

As a poet, poetry has been one of the ways I have used to express my feelings and this has helped me to deal with my grief. However, just like the author, when you have been loved by a certain kind of person or people, you will forever yearn for them.

If you are dealing with grief over the loss of a loved one, this book may be difficult to read or may give you the freedom to grieve without guilt or shame knowing, you are not alone. However, I advice you read it cautiously.

For the rest of my life, I will live with my hands outstretched for things that are no longer there.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Notes on Grief

Rating: 5 Stars

Published: May 11th 2021 by Knopf

Pages: 80

Genre: Memoir

The Author:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grew up in Nigeria.

Her work has been translated into over thirty languages and has appeared in various publications, including The New YorkerGrantaThe O. Henry Prize Stories, the Financial Times, and Zoetrope. 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 and a New York Times Notable Book; and Americanah, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was named one of The New York Times Top Ten Best Books of 2013. Ms. Adichie is also the author of the story collection The Thing Around Your Neck.

Ms. Adichie has been invited to speak around the world. Her 2009 TED Talk, The Danger of A Single Story, is now one of the most-viewed TED Talks of all time. Her 2012 talk We Should All Be Feminists has a started a worldwide conversation about feminism, and was published as a book in 2014.

Her most recent book, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, was published in March 2017.

A recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, Ms. Adichie divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.

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