A few years ago, Chimamanda Adichie received a message from a childhood friend asking for advice: She wanted to know how to raise her newborn daughter to be a feminist.
For Adichie — a best-selling author who has also made a name for herself as a leading feminist voice — the question was a bit daunting, but she wrote a long letter back to her friend. Now, that letter has been published as a book. It’s called Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, and it talks about everything from how to choose toys to teaching self-reliance to challenging traditional gender roles.
Adichie says writing the letter was useful for her, too. “Yes, I wrote it for my friend, but I think to a large extent it was also my way of mapping out my own thinking. Because I have talked a lot about these things and I care very much about them and I get very passionate … but I realized I didn’t actually have a concrete map of the particular, specific things that I think will help if we do them differently.”
Photo: Ariel Zambelich/NPR