“Half of a Yellow Sun ” – Allegation of plagiarism and literary forgery

“Half of a Yellow Sun ” – Allegation of plagiarism and literary forgery

A claim for copyright infringement has been made by Anne Giwa-Amu against Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Harper Collins Publishers in relation to the literary work, Half of A Yellow Sun.

Anne Giwa-Amu, a law graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science, is demanding damages and an account of profit as a consequence of the infringement of her copyright in the literary work SADE.

In legal papers submitted to the Court, Ms Giwa-Amu alleged:

“…a substantial amount of original material found in SADE, an earlier copyright work also appears in Half of A Yellow Sun a later work…Ms Adichie could not have included this by coincidence”.

Ms Giwa-Amu alleged that in 1998 she sent a copy of her manuscript to Heinemann Educational Books Ltd, Nigeria.

“Chinua Achebe, a writer linked to the Biafra propaganda effort, was the main decision maker on the Board of Directors at Heinemann”.

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Ms Giwa-Amu was informed that Chinua Achebe read and accepted SADE for publication for senior secondary school in Nigeria under the sub-title ‘SADE United We Stand’.

Chinua Achebe later endorsed and promoted Half of A yellow Sun and one of his poems appears on the first page which would have entitled him to royalties from the sale.

Chinua Achebe and Chimamanda Adichie share the same literary agent, The Wylie Agency.

Ms Adichie wrote in the Premium Times that after the publication of her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, Chinua Achebe tried to arrange a meeting with her. Ms Adichie claims that after her communication with Achebe she wrote Half of A Yellow Sun.

Ms Adichie admits that she had no experience of the civil war as she was born in 1977. She claims to have compiled HAYS after reading thirty-one books by writers who had first-hand experience of the war.

In the legal papers, Ms Giwa-Amu alleged that Ms Adichie reworded and expanded her novel SADE and copied the setting, structure, plot, language, themes, characterization, content, form, subject matter, supporting arguments and scenes. Ms Giwa-Amu has claimed that every incident from her literary work, SADE, has been copied and expanded upon to create a literary forgery.

In 2016, the case was submitted at the County Court at Cardiff, Cardiff Civil Justice Centre, 2 Park Street, Cardiff, CF10 1ET. It has since been transferred to the High Court in London and back to the Central London County Court.

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