Elechi Amadi was born on 12 May 1934 in Aluu, Ikwerre local government area of Port- Harcourt, Rivers State. He attended Government College, Umuahia, Survey School, Oyo State and the University of Ibadan, where he obtained a degree in Physics and Mathematics.
He worked for some time as a Land Surveyor and teacher. Elechi served in the Nigerian Army, fought during the Nigerian Civil War and later retired at the rank of a Captain. He held several positions with the Rivers State government such as: Permanent Secretary (1973- 1983), Commissioner of Education (1987-1988) and Commissioner for Lands and Housing (1989-1990).
Elechi Amadi will be mostly remembered as an author that portrayed the rural Nigerian life, customs and traditions, religious beliefs before the colonial era. He is best recognized for his 1966 debut novel, The Concubine. The book was published in London and was hailed as a "most accomplished first performance".
These trilogy, The Concubine (1966), The Great Ponds (1969), and The Slave (1978) explains the fate of humans and the extent to which it can be changed. Also, the relationship between people and their gods is the central issue explored. Amadi is a keen observer of the details of daily life and religious rituals, which he unobtrusively describes in his dramatic stories.
Sunset in Biafra (1973), his only work of nonfiction, recounts his experiences as a soldier and civilian during the Biafran conflict.
On 29 June 2016, Amadi died at the Good Heart Hospital in Port Harcourt at the age of 82.