When we entered the courtyard, Nigerian author, Chimamanda Adichie was sitting regally, a vision in purple, her flowery satin dress reminiscent of her award wining novel, Purple Hibiscus.
As she drinks juice at complete sang-froid, it's hard to imagine her as the strong, political, angry voice which echoes through her books. Her latest book Half A Yellow Sun, is a book about the Biafran war but she is quick to assert that it's not an historical account, "History gives facts, this novel is gives the truth - it's people's interpretation of the war."
When you talk to her about globalization, a non-western writer in a pre-dominantly western world she is annoyed, "I don't need validation from the west, winning prizes feels good but that's not why I write, for me what matters is ordinary people reading my books. There're a lot of writers who win awards, but no one reads them," she laughs.
About her novels she says, "Writing a novel is an emotionally exhausting experience, when writing about the Biafran it's very normal to fall into despair. Writing is a process of recalling history, I usually cry while writing."
Her face lights up when talking about young writers in Nigeria, "People in Nigeria are writing a lot of fiction, non-fiction, there's lot of writing going on and a lot more publishing going on, it's all very exciting."
Being an attractive, young woman writer from Nigeria, she has had a lot to contend with, but she takes it all in her stride. "Being a female writer comes with a lot of baggage but it doesn't make me stop, I want to challenge those assumption- a small girl can write a political history," she says with a fiercely intelligent look in her yes.