On Monday evening, Americanah author (and One Book, One New York winner) Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie spoke in conversation with BuzzFeed Books editor Isaac Fitzgerald at the New York Public Library for the final #OneBookNY program event. Here are some of the best pieces of wisdom she dropped:

The One Book, One New York program was a partnership between BuzzFeed and Commissioner Julie Menin and the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.

1.

“When you’re writing, forget about the ones you love. Don’t think about the reader or you will censor yourself. Be true to yourself. Don’t worry about what people will like.”


Sarah Stacke/New York Public Library

2.

“I think it’s important for a writer to not be in a rush. Focusing on the end increases anxiety.”


Sarah Stacke/New York Public Library

3.

“I think writers often write about the lives they wish they led.”


Sarah Stacke/New York Public Library

4.

“If feminism were really accepted we wouldn’t have a room full of men making decisions about women’s bodies.”


Sarah Stacke/New York Public Library

5.

“The world often pits women against each other.”


Sarah Stacke/New York Public Library

6.

On assimilation: “How much do you have to give up, how much do you have to bury to fit in with those around you?”


Sarah Stacke/New York Public Library

7.

“Because of technology, immigration no longer means completely shutting the door to where you came from.”


Sarah Stacke/New York Public Library

8.

On depression: “I think it’s important to be honest about what it means to be human.”


Sarah Stacke/New York Public Library

9.

“I’m suspicious of excessive happiness. If you’re constantly happy, you’re lying!”


Sarah Stacke/New York Public Library

10.

“I think love is about finding someone who complements you, not completes you.”


Sarah Stacke/New York Public Library

11.

“I think love, not just romantic love, is the most important thing in the world.”


Sarah Stacke/New York Public Library

You can watch the livestream from the event below. To learn more about One Book, One New York, click here.

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