Feminism with Adichie

redstarAdichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. Dear Ijeawele; or, A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions. 1 CD. 1:02 hrs. Books on Tape. Mar. 2017. ISBN 9780525494706. $15. digital download. soc sci
Before Adichie became a mother herself, a childhood friend—the titular Ijeawele—asked Adichie to tell her how to raise her baby girl as a feminist. She begins here with two “Feminist Tools”: 1. “I matter equally. Full stop”; and 2. “Can you reverse X and get the same results?,” a demand for gender equity. The suggestions that follow are fulfilling (“Motherhood is a glorious gift, but do not define yourself solely by motherhood”), just (“a father is as much a verb as a mother”), wise (“Her job is not to make herself likeable, her job is to be her full self”), and even literary (“Teach her to love books”). January LaVoy proves to be an ideal stand-in for the author, her voice thoughtful and supportive, insistent and assuring, as she reads Adichie’s “honest and practical” letter. VERDICT For parents and children of all ages, Adichie’s Manifesto should certainly encourage discussion and even enable change. [“A fast read and vital addition to all collections. Anyone interested in social change will enjoy”: LJ 5/15/17 starred review of the Knopf hc.]—Terry Hong, ­Smithsonian BookDragon, ­Washington, DC

redstarAdichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. We Should All Be Feminists. digital download. 45 min. Books on Tape. Jan. 2017. ISBN 9781524781774. $7.50. soc sci
If anything about this sounds familiar, that might be because you may have already come across the TEDxEuston talk of the same name, presented by Adichie in December 2012 and widely circulated. Think of that as a highly successful test run, and consider investing the mere 45 minutes to listen to Adichie (again) in this extended version as she explains why she is a “Happy African Feminist Who Does Not Hate Men and Who Likes To Wear Lip Gloss and High Heels for Herself and Not for Men.” Adichie’s tone seems light, and she uses ironic humor brilliantly throughout—how a childhood friend first called her a feminist at age 14 in “the same tone with which a person would say, ‘You’re a supporter of terrorism.’ ” But she doesn’t shy away from getting angry, dismantling stereotypes, exposing inequity, and demanding change. Adichie’s own definition of a feminist is simply empowering: “a man or a woman who says, ‘Yes, there’s a problem with gender as it is today, and we must fix it, we must do better.’ ” VERDICT Libraries aware of Adichie’s global popularity will surely want to spread her concise, common-sense, inclusive feminism.—Terry Hong, Smithsonian BookDragon, Washington, DC

This article was published in Library Journal's June 15, 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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