UK Guardian Removed article of award-winning writer Chimamanda Adichie

February 2, 2015 8:18 am

Yesterday, UK Guardian published an article written by award-winning
writer about her struggles with depression which I
also republished here. The Guardian later took the article down
explaining that it was published in error. Thing is, they didn’t have
permission from Ms Adichie to publish the article. Out of courtesy, I
also took the post down. But there’s been some confusion over why the
article was taken down from the Guardian. Chimamanda’s manager explains
below…

“When
a writer of
Chimamanda Adichie’s status writes an essay, many publications are
interested
in publishing it. Her agent sends the essay to a few publications. The
publications indicate their interest and make various offers and
proposals
including how they will feature it and what they would like to accompany
it
(e.g. a photo shoot, an additional interview), how much they will pay
for it,
when they will publish it and in what section of the publication.
Chimamanda
then makes a decision about which publication she prefers

Chimamanda wrote
the essay about depression last year. Depression is a very important subject
for her. She wanted to make sure the essay was very honest. She wanted to use
the essay as a way to help people, to start a conversation about depression,
particularly among Africans. Many people suffer in silence. Breaking the
silence around the subject of depression can be the first step to getting
better.
Many magazines
and publications were interested in the essay. One of them was the Guardian.
Chimamanda considered their offer and then decided she didn’t want it to be
published there. She felt that the Guardian was not the right place for the
essay. She declined their offer, and they acknowledged in writing that she had
declined.
She planned to
publish the essay later this year, when she would have finished other
engagements, to give her time to deliver a talk in about depression.
She had still
not finally decided which publication she would go with when she
discovered on Sunday that the essay had been published in the Guardian, with no
notice, no permission, nothing. She was shocked.
The Guardian
claims it was a technical error. It is not clear how something could have been
published, with photographs, due to a technical error. It is possible that The
Guardian deliberately published it even though they had been turned down. That
way, The Guardian could claim to have been first to publish Africa’s
most-internationally recognized novelist writing for the first time on the very
personal subject of depression. The Guardian’s action was unethical and
possibly illegal. The Guardian has apologized and removed the essay.
The essay will
be republished properly later this year. Chimamanda thanks all the people who
have already shared their own stories of depression. She hopes that knowing you
are not alone will be a source of comfort. She will speak more on the subject
in the coming months.
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