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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Haruki Murakami make Time’s 100 Most Influential People

 
Authors Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Haruki Murakami have been named among Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.

The list is divided into “titans”, “pioneers”, “artists”, “icons” and “leaders”, with the only criterion being that the person is “shaping the future”.

“We tell 100 stories of individual influence,” Time managing editor Nancy Gibbs says. “But taken together, these stories are an anthem to interaction, the convergence that occurs when you harmonize a good idea”

Adichie appears in the “artists” category, and her motivation is written by deputy managing editor of Time Radhika Jones, who says Adichie’s “greatest power is as a creator of characters who struggle profoundly to understand their place in the world”.

Haruki Murakami is named in the “icons” category, with a motivation written by Yoko Ono, who says: “In recent years, as the government in Japan has become more conservative, Murakami-san has become a valuable voice for peace.”

AmericanahPurple HibiscusHalf of a Yellow Sun

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
By Radhika Jones

Conjurer of character

It’s the rare novelist who in the space of a year finds her words sampled by Beyoncé, optioned by Lupita Nyong’o and honored with the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. But the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is just that sort of novelist. A MacArthur “genius” grant recipient, Adichie writes of the complex aftermath of Nigeria’s colonial history and her nation’s rise to prominence in an era when immigration to the West no longer means a one-way ticket. With her viral TEDxEuston talk, “We Should All Be Feminists,” she found her voice as cultural critic. (You can hear it rising midway through Beyoncé’s woman-power anthem “Flawless.”) She sets her love stories amid civil war (Half of a Yellow Sun) and against a backdrop of racism and migration (Americanah). But her greatest power is as a creator of characters who struggle profoundly to understand their place in the world.

Norwegian WoodKafka on the ShoreColorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Haruki Murakami
By Yoko Ono

I’m glad that Murakami-san has been selected as one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME. He deserves the honor. He is a writer of great imagination and human sympathy, one who has enthralled millions of readers by building fictional worlds that are uniquely his. Murakami-san has a singular vision, as informed by pop culture as it is by deep channels of Japanese tradition. And he’s a Japanese writer—while Murakami-san spends much of his time in the U.S. and has earned acclaim internationally, he and his books are very much a product of Japan. In recent years, as the government in Japan has become more conservative, Murakami-san has become a valuable voice for peace.

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