Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Notes on Grief” as Want to Read:
Notes on Grief
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Notes on Grief

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  2,018 ratings  ·  299 reviews
Notes on Grief is an exquisite work of meditation, remembrance, and hope, written in the wake of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's beloved father’s death in the summer of 2020. As the COVID-19 pandemic raged around the world, and kept Adichie and her family members separated from one another, her father succumbed unexpectedly to complications of kidney failure.

Expanding on her
Hardcover, 80 pages
Published May 11th 2021 by Knopf
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Notes on Grief, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Notes on Grief

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,018 ratings  ·  299 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Notes on Grief
May 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I didn't plan on reading this today but what started with me planning to read a few pages just to get a feel of it, ended up with me reading it to the end and how timely because tomorrow would have been my late young sister's 28th birthday.

I've learned that grief from the death of a loved one just never goes away, never really heals. Even if life returns to a semblance of normal, the grief is always there, just under the surface, ready to burst out at any slight trigger.

There's so much that CNA
This slim hardback is an expanded version of an essay Adichie published in the New Yorker in the wake of her father’s death in June 2020. With her large family split across three continents and coronavirus lockdown precluding in-person get-togethers, they had a habit of frequent video calls. She had seen her father the day before on Zoom and knew he was feeling unwell and in need of rest, but the news of his death still came as a complete shock.

Adichie anticipates all the unhelpful platitudes pe
Sami Kay
May 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I’m sitting here in my hammock with tears streaming down my cheeks and I wasn’t even expecting this book to happen to me today, but it did at this perfect time.

My sister died right before COVID happened and it was very unexpected. I read this book today and I felt seen and reading about so many of my feelings that are just too big for words was profound. Especially this piece:

“Laughter is tightly braided into our family argot, and now we laugh remembering my father, but somewhere in the backgrou
May 19, 2021 rated it liked it
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie lost her dad on June 10th, 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic. She and her siblings were scattered around the globe at the time. Her father was 88 years old when he died but learning about it via a Zoom call, she felt gripped by a strong sense of denial.

This essay is deeply personal and one that attempts to make sense of the immense loss Adichie feels over the death of her father. Her writing is contemplative and in a way she attempts to find words for what she’s feel
Sudeepta Pradhan (booksteaandmore)
May 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: grief
I lost my father a month back after a brief illness and this book, each and every word was like catharsis. The way Adichie describe her dad, the dry sense of humour, kind, non materialistic, her best friend I could draw parallels with my dad. I felt a knot and a gut wrenching pain while I read this essay but somewhere it made me feel like I am not alone and helped me make sense of grief which is oh so complicated. I am very sure I will find solace in this essay and will come back to this again a ...more
May 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My goodness, she can write. About everything. This time, about grief. There are so many moments in this book that had me, that broke me. And yet the stories (as it is written as a collection of stories & memories) are beautiful and often happy and celebrating the good things (the good people!) in life. Pure magic, thank you for sharing it with us Chimamanda
May 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
"A cataclysmic hole now gapes open in your life, a part of you snatched away forever"

The fact that grief of some kind is universal does not surprise me. But what does, is the similarities in the ways in which grief is acknowledged, experienced, and dealt with. The accuracy of the metaphors, is at once astonishing and a blessing. I am grateful for writers putting for into words feelings I have felt, and the thoughts I have thought.

This book is both a beautiful eulogy to a gentle and kind father,
ana ☾
Jun 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
it's a cruel world. ...more
May 30, 2021 added it
80 pages of extended obituary by Chimamanda Ngochi Adichie on her father celebrates his life and addresses Adichie's grief. The anguish of losing a family and the obligation to move on with life feels cruel!

Recommended if the subject interests you.
May 16, 2021 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Anne by: Publicity/ads
This is a very slight book - no, it is more of a pamphlet. Of course it is beautifully written, moving, emotional, and is probably what many people need right now, after the appalling losses from COVID.
But it is only 67 very small pages, at a rough estimate around 11,000 words. Could it be that the esteemed author is maybe taking slight advantage of her ardent admirers? Ms. Adichie obviously had a great relationship with her father, who seems to have been an admirable man. His intelligence and d
Jun 07, 2021 rated it liked it
A sentence, that Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi has written in her book, Notes On Grief that will leave you astonished,

'I am writing about my father in the past tense and I cannot believe I am writing about my father in the past tense.'

Losing someone close to us never has been and never will be easy. To imagine the sorrow, grief and the despair they may be feeling over the loss, can leave us quite thunderstruck. We have all dealt with small and big losses in our own way and none of the ways are ea
May 13, 2021 added it
Shelves: other-lit
I still remembered the intensity of grief when a college professor of mine suddenly passed away 6 years ago. My professor didn't have children. I carved the date of her passing in my heart. I guess people stay immortal if they are remembered. Evil ones or good ones, remembered by loved ones or by strangers in the world.

Adichie wrote down about her father. And he would stay immortal, in a sense.
Saif AL Jahwari
Jun 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
“We don’t know how we will grieve until we grieve.”
May 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Girl, same.
Marden Zelaya
May 22, 2021 rated it liked it
It reads like a diary, with some entries more moving and effective than others.
Sanjana Ganesh
May 24, 2021 rated it it was amazing
In short chapters, Adichie as always captures emotions that I've struggled to put into words for 14 years. Grief is wild. The only way we can control it is through memories but it takes time to get there. Today, this book is important for me to read because I can control flittering thoughts on loss. It maybe important for you too. ...more
May 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book was a brutal shock of pain and beauty. Adichie writes about grief and profound love from a place of utmost truth.
Ashish Kumar
May 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
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 of language. Why are my sides so sore and achy? It’s from crying, I’m told. I did not know that we cry with our muscles. The pain is not surprising, but it’s physicality is.

The first thing I ever read by Adichie was her 2014 essay called We Should All Be Feminists and then imm
Jun 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
In this short book , Grief is inexplicably explained and I feel it on all levels. There’s me drawn to how beautiful the experience with her dad was and it’s really an insight into grief and sorrow. It’s not an easy book I can tell you

“You should just go and marry your father!”
Oh how I relate with this quote on a personal level

“raised with a strong sense of who we were as Igbo, and if it was pride, then it was a pride so organic, so inevitable, that it felt no need to call itself pride. We just
May 21, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
On June 10, 2020 James Nwoye Adichie, the father of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, died in the family’s ancestral village of Abba in Nigeria at the age of 88 from complications of chronic kidney disease. Chimamanda was living in the United States at the time, and due to the COVID-19 pandemic she and five of her six siblings were only able to see their parents on weekly Zoom calls set up by the one brother who lived nearby and was able to visit them in person. She had seen and spoken to him the day be ...more
Soula Kosti
May 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
“Grief is a cruel kind of education”

4.5 ✨

In a raw and emotional way, Chimamanda narrates the loss of her father during the pandemic. A bittersweet tribute on the man he was and all the ways he’ll be missed by his loved ones.

I thought I’d be able to relate more to this story than I actually did and I believe that is because the loss Chimamanda explores in her writing has been so recent. As readers, we can feel her pain and anger, her inability to imagine how life will keep going without her fath
Jun 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Everyone's expression of grief and association with grief is unique. I resonated with some of Adichie's feelings at the loss of her beloved father. ...more
Sophie Stoddard
May 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
holy... such a poignant portrait of the aftermath of grief. it goes without saying I sobbed my way through the entire thing. what a tribute.
May 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
beautifully written. and relatable having gone through grief recently. a good read
May 22, 2021 rated it it was amazing
With her typical mastery of word craft, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie beautifully and articulately describes grief in a way that is both personal and universal. This is a one-sitting read in which you are invited into the world of the author’s intimate pain, yet comforted in the way she describes the humanness of a devotion so tender.
May 27, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2021
“Grief is a cruel kind of education.”
May 03, 2021 marked it as to-read
Preordered this book right away when I saw it. I, unfortunately, lost my father to COVID in February. He was my best friend and my rock. I do not know how I’m going to go the rest of my life without seeing him or talking to him and I still try to call him when I’m having a hard day. To everyone that lost a loved one during this pandemic, you are not alone.
This book is a very intimate look into Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s family life and her relationships with her immediate family, specifically her father. She details the passing of her beloved father in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and how she is processing the grief associated with his passing. She provides some advise, some humor, some sadness, some longing, and some memories as she shares this very personal experience with us, her readers.

Notes on Grief is more than just a recounting of
Pretty Little Bibliophile
What is mourning, and what is grief?

The loss of a loved one is perhaps something no one will be fully able to perfectly transcribe into words. If the one who is left behind feels bereft, how can some other such person’s words provide solace? Or can it?

Grief is multifaceted, just as much as mourning is. We all mourn differently. I for one have a bad bad habit of repressing my memories. I know of a friend who became cruel to well-wishers who went to offer condolences. There’s a distant relative wh
Jun 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I love @chimamanda_adichie and all her works. This book is about her father's sudden demise during the pandemic last year and how she dealt with the avalanche of emotions that were triggered in it's aftermath. I lost my mom last year in a similar manner and haven't been able to express my feelings in words. Reading this book was a cathartic experience as I walked in Chimamanda's footsteps, cried with her and understood deeply what she was able to put to words and the things left unsaid. There is ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered
  • The Burning God (The Poppy War, #3)
  • White Teeth
  • 'Art'
  • Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China
  • Dare to Disappoint: Growing Up in Turkey
  • Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me
  • Carnet de Voyage
  • An Age of License: A Travelogue
  • Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea
  • How Much Land Does a Man Need?
  • Red Rackham's Treasure (Tintin, #12)
  • Scott Pilgrim, Volume 1: Scott Pilgrim's Precious Little Life
  • The Towering Sky (The Thousandth Floor, #3)
  • I Have the Right to Destroy Myself
  • A Bright Ray of Darkness
  • Mr. Loverman
  • White Nights
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grew up in Nigeria.

Her work has been translated into over thirty languages and has appeared in various publications, including The New Yorker, Granta, The O. Henry Prize Stories, the Financial Times, and Zoetrope. She is the author of the novels Purple Hibiscus, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; Half of a Yellow Sun, which won t

Articles featuring this book

In any given month, the range of new books hitting the shelves can be frankly astonishing. For the dedicated reader, part of the thrill of...
73 likes · 22 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Age is irrelevant in grief; at issue is not how old he was but how loved.” 3 likes
“I wince now at the words I said in the past to grieving friends. "Find peace in your memories," I used to say. To have love snatched from you, especially unexpectedly, and then to be told to turn to memories. Rather than succor, my memories bring eloquent stabs of pain that say, "This is what you will never again have.” 3 likes
More quotes…