How motherhood affected my writing skills – Chimamanda Adichie


Renowned Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has opened up about her struggles with writing following the birth of her daughter in 2016 during a recent interview on BBC Woman’s Hour.

Adichie, the 46-year-old author of the acclaimed novel “Americanah” and wife to Nigerian medical doctor Ivara Esege, revealed that becoming a mother was a beautiful but demanding experience. She admitted to finding it challenging to immerse herself in her ‘fictional space’ after giving birth, citing battles with constipation and aching joints during pregnancy.

“Becoming a mother is a glorious gift, but it comes at a cost. I could probably have written two novels had I not had my child,” Adichie candidly shared.

Despite the difficulties, she expressed hope that her experiences of motherhood would eventually enrich her storytelling. However, Adichie acknowledged the struggle she faced in recent years when it came to penning novels. “I felt as though my brain had been wrapped in gauze. So, my brain didn’t work for a long time. And just more creatively, I think I am making my way back because I’m working on a novel finally,” she explained.

Adichie also shed light on the stark realities of pregnancy and childbirth, revealing her dismay at dealing with constipation and aching joints during her pregnancy. She described childbirth as a process that reduces women to their primal instincts, saying, “We are sort of reduced to our animal selves.”

In response to criticism she’s faced for her outspoken views, Adichie remained resolute, stating to The Times 2 Magazine, “I will say what I think and often there are consequences, and I’m willing to accept those consequences.”


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