The Danger of a Single Story

Swapna Mirashi

I was also an early writer, and when I began to write, at about the age of seven (…) I wrote exactly the kinds of stories I was reading: all my characters were white and blue-eyed, they played in the snow, they ate apples, and they talked a lot about the weather, how lovely it was that the sun had come out. Now, this despite the fact that I lived in Nigeria. I had never been outside Nigeria. We didn’t have snow, we ate mangoes, and we never talked about the weather, because there was no need to. What this demonstrates, I think, is how impressionable and vulnerable we are in the face of a story, particularly as children.’

Novelist Chamaminda Ngozi Adichie narrates from her childhood, in her extraordinary TED Talk of 2009 – “The Danger of a Single Story.”