Author(s): Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The bestselling novel--and one of Barack Obama's summer reading picks--from the award-winning author of We Should All Be Feminists and Dear Ijeawele.
"From one of the world's great contemporary writers comes the story of two Nigerians making their way in the U.S. and the UK, raising universal questions of race and belonging, the overseas experience for the African diaspora, and the search for identity and a home." --Barack Obama
Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read
Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion--for each other and for their homeland.
Americanah is the story of a young Nigerian woman living in America. The narrative is made up of her present-day decision to move back to Nigeria, and flashbacks of her earlier life, both in Nigeria and the States. A romance is what tethers the story together, but the book also explores ideas of culture shock and reverse culture shock. There is a lot about the politics of hair and what it means to be ‘black’ in America. Fascinating, amusing and enlightening. - Holly
'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 'Her new novel is 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 ... Read "Americanah" to find out - and 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 to take us.' 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 is ... ["Americanah" is] wise, entertaining and unendingly perceptive.' Independent on Sunday 'As she did so masterfully with "Half of a Yellow Sun", 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
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. 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.