Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I have some suggestions for how to raise Chizalum. But remember that you might do all the things I suggest, and she will still turn out to be different from what you hoped, because sometimes life just does its thing. What matters is that you try.

In We Should All be Feminists, her eloquently argued and much admired essay of 2014, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie proposed that if we want a fairer world we need to raise our sons and daughters differently. Here, in this remarkable new book, Adichie replies by letter to a friend’s request for help on how to bring up her newborn baby girl as a feminist. With its fifteen pieces of practical advice it goes right to the heart of sexual politics in the twenty-first century.

Reviews of Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

  • ‘Take note world. When Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie tells you to listen, you listen’ Stylist

    ‘Dear Ijeawele reminds us that, in the history of feminist writing, it is often the personal and epistolary voice that carries the political story most powerfully – For me, the most powerful sentence in the book is its simplest, and comes in only the third paragraph. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie urges Ijeawele to remember to transmit to her daughter “the solid unbending belief that you start off with . . . Your feminist premise should be: I matter. I matter equally. Not ‘if only’. Not ‘as long as’. I matter equally. Full stop.”..there is no doubt that if we raised all of our daughters to believe completely that they “matter equally”, to trust what they feel and think and to worry less about how they look and come across, we would soon find new ways to challenge the multiple injustices and indignities that still limit, and even wreck, so many women’s lives.’ New Statesman

    Praise for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:

    ‘The book I’d press into the hands of girls and boys, as an inspiration for a future “world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves”’ Books of the Year, Independent

    ‘A writer with a great deal to say’ The Times

    ‘Here is a new writer endowed with the gift of ancient storytellers.’ Chinua Achebe

    ‘Adiche [has] virtuosity, boundless empathy and searing social acuity’ Dave Eggers