Inprint, Houston’s premier literary arts nonprofit organization, presents two remarkable novelists, MacArthur “genius” grant recipient Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and National Book Award winner Colum McCann, as part of the 2013/14 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. The readings will be followed by an on-stage interview with Houston novelist Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni and a book sale and signing at which audience members can meet the authors.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, born in Nigeria, “is very much the 21st-century daughter of that other great Igbo novelist, Chinua Achebe,” says The Washington Post Book World. She is the author of Purple Hibiscus, winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the 2007 Orange Prize and was a New York Times Notable Book; and the short story collection The Thing Around Your Neck. She will read from her new novel Americanah, which The New York Times Book Review calls “trenchant and hugely empathetic, both worldly and geographically precise, [a novel that] holds the realities of our times fearlessly before us [and] never feels false.” New York magazine reviewer Kathryn Schulz writes, “In Americanah, Adichie is to blackness what Philip Roth is to Jewishness: its most obsessive taxonomist, its staunchest defender, and its fiercest critic. Stories of immigrants adjusting to the United States are as central to American literature as they are to the American Dream. But Americanah [is] a new kind of migration story: a Great Global Novel.” Adichie received a MacArthur “genius” fellowship in 2008, and her work has been translated into 30 languages.
Colum McCann, born in Dublin, Ireland, is the bestselling author of the 2009 National Book Award winner Let the Great World Spin, which The New York Times called “one of the most electric, profound novels … in years … an emotional tour de force.” His other works include the novels Songdogs, This Side of Brightness, Dancer, and Zoli, plus two story collections. His short film Everything in This Country Must was nominated for an Oscar. McCann will be reading from his new novel TransAtlantic. Beginning in 1845 with the Irish famine and ending in 2011 when President Obama lands on Irish shores, Kirkus Reviews describes TransAtlantic as “a masterful and profoundly moving novel that employs exquisite language to explore the limits of language and the tricks of memory ... epic in ambition ... audacious in format.” Emma Donoghue writes, “This novel is beautifully hypnotic in its movements… Silkily threading together public events and private feelings, TransAtlantic says no to death with every line. Those who can’t see the point of historical novels will find their answer here: in all intelligent fiction, the past has not passed.” McCann’s many honors include the Rooney Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.