Superstar Beyonce did two astonishing things Thursday night: Release a complete album without any promotion or advance notice, and sample Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Adichie, who lives part of the year in the U.S., is the author of the acclaimed 2013 novel "Americanah," a smart and surprisingly funny take on race and gender in contemporary society. In 2008, she was awarded a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, after the publication of "Half a Yellow Sun," a historical novel set during Nigeria's bloody Biafran war.
Adichie appears on Beyonce's track "Flawless." She isn't in the short video sample of the song that's online; according to Rap Genius, the video is of the third verse, while Adichie's sample makes up most of the second.
Adichie is also the author of the novel "Purple Hibiscus" and the short-story collection "The Thing Around Your Neck."
Beyonce's self-titled new release, which has videos for every track and is being called a "visual album," is available exclusively on iTunes.