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Summary

A personal and powerful essay on loss from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the best-selling author of Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun

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.

On 10th June 2020, the scholar James Nwoye Adichie died suddenly in Nigeria.

In this tender and powerful essay, expanded from the original New Yorker text, his daughter, a self-confessed daddy's girl, remembers her beloved father. Notes on Grief is at once a tribute to a long life of grace and wisdom, the story of a daughter's fierce love for a parent and a revealing examination of the layers of loss and the nature of grief.

©2021 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic reviews

"Both emotional and austere, a work of dignity and of unravelling." (Guardian)

"An exquisite howl of pain written in the aftermath, last year, of the unexpected death of her father." (Telgraph)

What listeners say about Notes on Grief

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It just sounded like me talking to me

As I pre-ordered this book, I was questioning myself - what is this sadistic pleasure that I was seeking by listening to a daughter mourning the passing of her father? I still ordered it and listened on the day it is released. The grief that I had great struggle sharing with family and friends was being narrated, sometime word by word in almost all chapters. How can it be so similar?

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Thank you.

Your notes reminds me a lot of things about my father and I am grateful.

2 people found this helpful

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I feel seen

I can't write any more. I miss my father. I both needed and wish I hadn't listened to this.

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Comforting, honest and somehow uplifting!

A truly validating listen for anyone who's grieved a parent. So glad I listened.

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very relatable

having recently lost my own dad, I find my feelings accurately echoed in this book. had a laugh in some parts where she described the funny characters of her dad. overall, Good write-up .

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A meditation on grief

Notes on Grief is a short listen, but it's not necessarily an easy one. It is a series of short notes about the death of the author's father and how she moved through the beginning stages of her grief. It's touching and relatable, which brought back the emotions of some of my own losses.

I gave it an overall 4 stars because I'm not sure I would listen to it again. The performance was lovely, and it is not an easy topic to sit with.

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I felt it because I feel it.

Eerily familiar; the feelings, thoughts and reactions. Very well expressed. We grieve because we love...

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Very relatable... to a point

She helped me contextualize my grief. The stages of grief were described very aptly

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Incredibly moving. I did not want it to end.

So moving. Thank You Chimamanda for letting us in. This could not have been easy to write about. I admire the relationship you had with your father. Truly he sounds like an amazing soul.

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Achingly beautiful

Grief is such a personal experience. I found comfort in listening to this beautifully told personal experience. Thank you for sharing.

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Profile Image for Jorge I. Figueroa
  • Jorge I. Figueroa
  • 03-12-21

you can get her loss

She shared her grief with us, she is truly a tremendous wordsmith and her father's memory lives on