Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to publish new book on her father’s sudden demise

Titled Notes on Grief, it will come out on May 13 and will detail the sudden loss of her father in lockdown

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has written a new book titled Notes on Grief. To be launched on May 13, it will detail the sudden loss of her father in lockdown. Her publisher shared the news on Twitter and wrote, “We are so honoured to be publishing NOTES ON GRIEF by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. In this tender and powerful essay, expanded from the original New Yorker text, Chimamanda remembers her beloved father and examines the layers of loss and the nature of grief.”

Prior to this, the author had written on the pounding grief she felt in an essay in The New Yorker. In her latest work, she has built on this. Written in 29 parts, the essay is a gut-wrenching exploration of the sorrow she experienced after her father’s demise. At one point she writes on grief. “Grief is a cruel kind of education. You learn how ungentle mourning can be, how full of anger. You learn how glib condolences can feel. You learn how much grief is about language, the failure of language and the grasping for language. Why are my sides so sore and achy? It’s from crying, I’m told. I did not know that we cry with our muscles.”

In another part she writes: “Grief is forcing new skins on me, scraping scales from my eyes. I regret my past certainties: Surely you should mourn, talk through it, face it, go through it. The smug certainties of a person yet unacquainted with grief. I have mourned in the past, but only now have I touched grief’s core. Only now do I learn, while feeling for its porous edges, that there is no way through.”

The essay concludes with two definitive lines. “I am writing about my father in the past tense, and I cannot believe I am writing about my father in the past tense.”

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