She’s the toast of Hollywood and now Lupita Nyong’o has optioned rights for the film version of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s best-selling novel Americanah, the Nigerian author confirmed exclusively to Stylist last night.
Responding to audience questions at Stylist magazine’s inaugural book club event at the Waldorf Hilton hotel in London, 36-year-old Adichie said Nyong’o had landed the film rights to the novel, which tells the story of a young Nigerian woman who moves to America for a university education.
Americanah was published last year to rave reviews. Adichie’s third book, it is spread across three continents and a multitude of characters, as it examines issues of immigration, identity and human dignity with a witty and provocative eye.
Kenyan-raised Nyong’o, 31, was first linked to the film adaptation in March, when Adichie revealed that the Oscar-winning actress loved the book and “will be making an announcement soon”.
“Lupita was a very early fan of Americanah,” Adichie told Arise Entertainment 360. “And so before she was sort of well-known in the way that she is now, she wrote me … the loveliest email, a very long and passionate email about Americanah.”
Winning the rights is the latest coup for Nyong’o, in a formidable year that has seen her lauded both on-screen with an Academy Award (for Steve McQueen epic 12 Years A Slave) and as an emerging fashion icon thanks to her widely celebrated fashion choices on the red carpet.