Maryland Humanities Announces 2017 One Maryland One Book Author Tour

July 11, 2017

Award-winning Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to Tour Maryland

(Baltimore, MD) – Maryland Humanities will present internationally acclaimed author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on a three-stop tour from September 24–26 to speak about her powerful first novel and the 2017 One Maryland One Book selection, Purple Hibiscus. Ms. Adichie will start her tour at the Baltimore Book Festival, and then travel to Calvert and Montgomery Counties.

One Maryland One Book, a program of the Maryland Center for the Book at Maryland Humanities, brings together diverse people in communities across the state through the shared experience of reading the same book. Each fall, readers participate in book-centered discussions and related programs at public libraries, high schools, colleges, museums, bookstores, and community and senior centers around the state. The book was chosen by a committee of librarians, educators, authors, and bibliophiles in February from more than 120 titles suggested last fall by readers across the state under the theme “Home & Belonging.” Find a book discussion near you at

“Now in its tenth year, our One Maryland One Book program brings diverse groups of Marylanders together in thoughtful discussion of the same book. Purple Hibiscus—a powerful coming-of-age novel that explores this year’s theme of home and belonging, along with resonant themes like faith, family, and freedom—will no doubt spark illuminating conversations across the state,” said Maryland Humanities Executive Director Phoebe Stein.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie said: “I’m pleased and honored that Purple Hibiscus will be read by many people in the state I call my American home. Literature should ‘instruct and delight’ and I truly hope Marylanders will enjoy reading it.”

About the Book

Fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja lead a privileged life in Enugu, Nigeria. They live in beautiful house, with a caring family, and attend an exclusive missionary school. They’re completely shielded from the troubles of the world. Yet, as Kambili reveals in her tender-voiced account, things are less perfect than they appear. Although her Papa is generous and well respected, he is fanatically religious and tyrannical at home—a home that is silent and suffocating. As the country begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili and Jaja are sent to their aunt, a university professor outside the city, where they discover a life beyond the confines of their father’s authority. Books cram the shelves, curry and nutmeg permeate the air, and their cousins’ laughter rings throughout the house. When they return home, tensions within the family escalate, and Kambili must find the strength to keep her loved ones together. Purple Hibiscus is an exquisite novel about the emotional turmoil of adolescence, the powerful bonds of family, and the bright promise of freedom.

About the Author

Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the leading African writer of her generation. She grew up on the campus of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and left Nigeria for the U.S. at the age of 19.

Among her many accolades, Ms. Adichie has been awarded a Hodder fellowship at Princeton University (2005-2006) and a fellowship at the Radcliffe Institute of Harvard University (2011-2012). In 2008, Ms. Adichie earned a coveted MacArthur Genius Award.

Ms. Adichie’s work is read around the world, and has been translated into over thirty languages. Her first novel Purple Hibiscus won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, won the Orange Prize (now the Bailey’s Women’s Prize), which is the world’s top prize for female writers. Her 2013 novel Americanah has received numerous accolades, including the National Book Critics Circle Award. It was named one of The New York Times Top Ten Best Books of the Year.

Ms. Adichie has been invited to speak around the world. Most notably her 2009 TED Talk, The Danger of A Single Story, is now one of the top ten most-viewed TED Talks of all time, with over five millions views. Her 2012 TED talk, We Should All Be Feminists, has a started a worldwide conversation about feminism, especially after it inspired a song by Beyoncé. It was published as a book in 2014.

Her most recent book, Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, was published in March 2017.

Ms. Adichie is committed to assisting young aspiring writers. As one of her commitments, she leads an annual Writers Workshop in Nigeria, for which applications come from around the world.

Want to discuss the book or get updates on upcoming events? Join the conversation on the Maryland Center for the Book page.

One Maryland One Book is sponsored by the Institute of Museum and Library Services via LSTA grant funds received from the Maryland State Library, as well as BGE. Additional support is provided by PNC Foundation, Baltimore City Foundation, Wells Fargo, and M&T Bank. Events taking place in Baltimore City have been funded in part by Mayor Catherine E. Pugh and the Baltimore Office of Promotion and The Arts.

“Wandering Books”: Where will you find Purple Hibiscus?

Copies of the 2017 One Maryland One Book selection will be released to the public in six counties beginning later this summer as part of “Wandering Books,” a fun campaign that  introduces readers across the state to Purple Hibiscus and the One Maryland One Book program. Anyone can receive clues about where to find books via Maryland Humanities’ Maryland Center for the Book Facebook page or by following @MDHumanities  on Twitter. Libraries in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Charles, Frederick, Harford, and Talbot counties will distribute books throughout their communities. After finding a copy of Purple Hibiscus, readers log on to and register their book’s ID number, post a comment or review, then leave the book for another reader to find. Instructions are located on a label inside the book cover. Participation is free. Those who register books will be automatically entered to win a $25 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble after the campaign ends at the end of October.

2017 One Maryland One Book Author Tour

EVENT LOCATION:      Baltimore Book Festival, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor

Date:                                      Sunday, September 24

Time:                                     2:00 p.m.

This event will be held in the Book Festival’s main Literary Salon.


EVENT LOCATION:      Calvert High School

Date:                                     Monday, September 25

Time:                                     7:00 p.m.


EVENT LOCATION:      Gaithersburg High School

Date:                                     Tuesday, September 26

Time:                                     7:00 p.m.

Press Release