Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Purple Hibiscus

(1272 words)

Purple Hibiscus begins with the phrase “Things started to fall apart.” In this opening, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie nods to the “father of African literature”, Chinua Achebe, and his most famous novel, Things Fall Apart (1958), in order to set her place as a Nigerian writing her novel in the tradition her literary forefather introduced to readers around the world. This sense of tradition and legacy permeates the entire novel.

Published in 2003, Purple Hibiscus takes the reader inside the Achike household, a well-off Nigerian Catholic family terrorized by the father, Eugene. Narrated from the perspective of the fifteen-year old daughter Kambili, this bildungsroman follows the destruction …
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Citation:
Colleen, Clemens. "Purple Hibiscus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 24 February 2014
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=16858, accessed 28 August 2014.]