Texts, talks and tailoring: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s fashion politics

Lecznar, Matthew (2017) Texts, talks and tailoring: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s fashion politics. Celebrity Studies, 8 (1). pp. 167-171. ISSN 1939-2397

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Abstract

This paper traces the rise of author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to international prominence as a literary celebrity and public intellectual by assessing the significance of fashion as a transmedia phenomenon in her writing and public discourse. While much has been made in the media about the significance of hair in her third novel Americanah (2013), I suggest that the politics of fashion have been central to the construction of all Adichie’s fictional writing, and in the development of her public image. These interests were foregrounded in the writer’s acclaimed TED Talk “We Should All Be Feminists”, which has since been published as a book. During the talk she remarks, “I have chosen to no longer be apologetic for my femininity […] I am happily girly. I like high heels and trying on lipsticks” (39-40). I argue that Adichie deploys such references to fashion and dress in order to negotiate tensions between the different cultural contexts traversed by her feminist politics, and her construction as both an internationally acclaimed novelist and style-conscious Nigerian. By weaving her celebrity out of different forms of fashion, Adichie has both asserted a distinctive identity and helped her politics to reach diverse cultural spaces.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Research Centres and Groups: Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania > PL8000 African languages and literature
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR0111 Women authors
P Language and Literature > PR English literature > PR0921 Essays
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Depositing User: Matthew Lecznar
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2017 15:19
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2018 01:00
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/71901

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