Listen To Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie And Zadie Smith Chat About Race, Feminism & Writing

Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi, author of the phenomenal Americanah, sat in conversation with everybody’s favorite brilliant, beautiful Brit, Zadie Smith, to talk about feminism, race, writing and all the other things that two boss bitches in the height of their collective powers could possibly discuss. Their conversation — a part of the New York Public Library’s podcast — is fantastic.

Ngozi discusses how Americanah is her “fuck-you” book, the book that she always wanted to write about the stuff she wanted to write about — confident, strong women. Also, she has some brilliant things to say about writing. Here she is on the importance of clarity in the work that she does:

Clarity’s important to me. I forget who said that ‘Prose should be as clear as a window pane.’ I’m very much in that school, and it’s the kind of fiction I like to read. The kind of writing that I like to read is writing that is clear. I think it’s very easy to confuse something that’s badly written as something that’s somehow deep. If something is incomprehensible and the sentences are bad, we’re supposed to say, ‘Oh that’s really deep.’ It’s not the kind of fiction I like to read, so I guess maybe when I’m editing I’m thinking about that. I’m thinking that the sentences I really admire are sentences that are lucid.

The entire interview is a lovely way to spend an hour. Listen! Please! It’s great! [Afropunk]