On Thursday, acclaimed feminist writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie took part in an event for France’s annual Night of Ideas — during which she had to answer a question about whether there are any bookstores in her home country of Nigeria.
Caroline Broué, the French journalist conducting the interview, initially asked Adichie if people in Nigeria read her work, to which the writer replied, “They do shockingly.” From there, she decided to ask “Are there bookshops in Nigeria?”
When the audience responded with audible shock, she doubled down on her question. “You were talking about single stories, now when you talk about Nigeria, in France, unfortunately, there is not much said about Nigeria. But when people talk about Nigeria it’s about Boko Haram, it’s about violence, it’s about security,” Broué pressed. “I should like you to tell us something about Nigeria which is different, talk about it differently, and that’s why I am saying, ‘are there bookshops?’ Of course, I imagine there are.”
“I think it reflects very poorly on French people that you have to ask me that question,” Adiche responded. “Because I think surely it’s 2018, you know, I mean c’mon. My books are read in Nigeria. They are studied in schools, actually not just Nigeria, across the continent of Africa.”
Watch a clip of the exchange, below, and the full interview .