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Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  

Sarah Broadhurst's view...

In 2015 Half of a Yellow Sun was named the Baileys' ‘Best of the Best’, chosen from the past decade's winners of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Nigeria in the 1960s and the birth of Biafra, a time of massacre, bloody conflict and the end of colonialism. We experience this strife through the household of a university lecturer, his houseboy, his lover and a white man seeking something we are never sure of. It is a tale of class more than race, of tribal differences and of the horrors of the period. It is immensely impressive, a big novel in every sense. Highly recommended. Click here to view a short film about this book.

The Bailey's 'Best of the Best' announcement was made on November 2nd at an event hosted by Kate Mosse OBE, novelist and co-founder of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, at the Piccadilly Theatre in London.

Adichie, who was not able to make the ceremony but sent a video message, said: “This is a prize I have a lot of respect and admiration for – over the years it’s brought wonderful literature to a wide readership that might not have found many of the books. I have a lot of respect for the books that have won in the past 10 years and also for the books that have been shortlisted – I feel I am in very good company. To be selected as ‘Best of the Best’ of the past decade is such an honour. I’m very grateful and very happy.”

Comparison: Tash Aw, Amitav Ghosh, Geoff Ryman.

February 2012 Guest Editor Joanna Trollope on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie...

Here’s a real find. A gorgeous (in every sense) young writer who makes modern stories sound fresh but as if they come from ancient story tellers, at the same time – it’s something about the wonderful rhythms of her language. My favourite of hers is Half of a Yellow Sun but I loved Purple Hibiscus too. You can smell and feel Africa; you believe in these people – it’s not easy to create such a powerful reality, and she does it so well.

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

Who is Sarah Broadhurst

Synopsis

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This highly anticipated novel from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is set in Nigeria during the 1960s, at the time of a vicious civil war in which a million people died and thousands were massacred in cold blood.

The three main characters in the novel are swept up in the violence during these turbulent years. One is a young boy from a poor village who is employed at a university lecturer's house. The other is a young middle-class woman, Olanna, who has to confront the reality of the massacre of her relatives. And the third is a white man, a writer who lives in Nigeria for no clear reason, and who falls in love with Olanna's twin sister, a remote and enigmatic character.

As these people's lives intersect, they have to question their own responses to the unfolding political events. This extraordinary novel is about Africa in a wider sense: about moral responsibility, about the end of colonialism, about ethnic allegiances, about class and race; and about the ways in which love can complicate all of these things.

Shortlisted for the Best of the Orange Best 2010 by the Orange Prize Youth Panel.

Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 23 October 2008.

Shortlisted for Author of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards 2008.

Winner of the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction 2007.

Reviews

'Heartbreaking, funny, exquisitely written and, without doubt, a literary masterpiece and a classic.' Daily Mail

'Stunning. It has a ramshackle freedom and exuberant ambition.' Observer

'I look with awe and envy at this young woman from Africa who is recording the history of her country. She is fortunate – and we, her readers, are even luckier.' Edmund White

'Vividly written, thrumming with life…a remarkable novel. In its compassionate intelligence as in its capacity for intimate portraiture, this novel is a worthy successor to such twentieth-century classics as Chinua Achebe's “Things Fall Apart” and V.S. Naipaul's “A Bend in the River”.' Joyce Carol Oates

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

15th January 2007

Author

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Author's Website

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

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Publisher

HarperPerennial

Format

Paperback
448 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
All Shortlists and Winners
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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780007200283

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