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Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  

Americanah

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction 2014.

Shortlisted for the 2014 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.

On the surface this is a love story, a coming-of-age novel and a tale of friendship. But Adichie did not allow her work to be just that. Most of the book, related in seven parts, is from the girl Ifemelu’s point of view but we do get significant bits from the boy Obinze’s side too. So across three countries, Nigeria, the USA and the UK, we get a strong portrait of racism, gender stereotyping, corruption and exploitation. Well written with a fascinating insight into part of the new, vibrant Nigeria, we are given a picture which will both fascinate and annoy readers. As students the two flee Nigertia. Ifemelu to a tough time in America until she eventually finds fame as a writer and Obinze to London and the change of British citizenship curtailed by deportation. Back in Nigeria he becomes wealthy. At the end of this fine book the two have their lives to sort out.

March 2014 Book of the Month.

If you like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie you might also like to read books by Manil Suri, Gil Courtemanche and Ian Holding.

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Synopsis

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

From the award-winning author of 'Half of a Yellow Sun,' a powerful story of love, race and identity. As teenagers in Lagos, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country if they can. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America. There she suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Thirteen years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a blogger. But after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face? Fearless, gripping, spanning three continents and numerous lives, 'Americanah' is a richly told story of love and expectation set in today's globalized world.

Reviews

'An extremely thoughtful, subtly provocative exploration of structural inequality, of different kinds of oppression, of gender roles, of the idea of home. Subtle, but not afraid to pull its punches'
Alex Clark, Guardian

'A tour de force ... The artistry with which Adichie keeps her story moving, while animating the complex anxieties in which the characters live and work, is hugely impressive'
Mail on Sunday

'A brilliant novel: epic in scope, personal in resonance and with lots to say'
Elizabeth Day, Observer

'Her observations about race are fresh and incisive ... Enjoy the chance to visit three continents, observe a wide array of subcultures and meet complicated and interesting characters - and to go wherever Adichie chooses'
Sunday Times

'Adichie writes superb dialogue straight from the mouth of her people ... This is a delicious, important novel from a writer with a great deal to say'
The Times

'A brilliant exploration of being African in America ... an urgent and important book, further evidence that its author is a real talent'
Sunday Telegraph

'Adichie is terrific on human interactions ... Adichie's writing always has an elegant shimmer to it ... Wise, entertaining and unendingly perceptive'
Independent on Sunday

'Adichie paints on a grand canvas, boldly and confidently, equally adept at conveying the complicated political backdrop of Lagos as she is in bringing us into the day-to-day lives of her many new Americans ... This is a very funny, very warm and moving intergenerational epic that confirms Adiche's virtuosity, boundless empathy and searing social acuity'
Dave Eggers

'Superb ... a large, ambitious book ... powerful, heartfelt and evocative. Once again Adichie excels with her depiction of Nigeria ...The dialogue sparkles ... she is a writer of huge talent who just keeps getting better'
Literary Review

'[A] long, satisfying novel of cross-continental relationships, exile and the pull of home ... Adichie's first novel for seven years and well worth the wait'
FT

About the Author

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria in 1977. Her first novel 'Purple Hibiscus' was published in 2003 and was longlisted for the Booker Prize. Her second novel 'Half of a Yellow Sun' won the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her work has been selected by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and the BBC Short Story Awards, has appeared in various literary publications, including Zoetrope and The Iowa Review. She won a MacArthur 'genius' grant in 2009, and in 2010 appeared on the New Yorker's list of the best 20 writers under 40.

photograph by Marco Del Grande

Fellow novelist ANNE BERRY on CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novelHalf of a Yellow Sun is a stunning book throughout, set in 1960’s Nigeria as it erupts into the bloody Biafran War of secession. There is so much I loved about this book, the crisp narration that never balks from taking the reader into the darkest corners of man’s nature, the relationship between the twin sisters Olanna and Kainene, the clashing of their different natures and the divergent paths they follow.

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Book Info

Publication date

27th February 2014

Author

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Author's Website

www.l3.ulg.ac.be/adichie/

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Publisher

Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Format

Paperback
400 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
Books of the Month
Family Drama
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780007356348

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