The Guardian - Notable Books of 2013

more

Americanah (2013)

Written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

From the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, a dazzling new novel: a story of love and race centered around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home.

As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are leaving the country if they can. Ifemelu—beautiful, self-assured—departs for America to study. She suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships and friendships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze—the quiet, thoughtful son of a professor—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.

Years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. But when Ifemelu returns to Nigeria, and she and Obinze reignite their shared passion—for their homeland and for each other—they will face the toughest decisions of their lives. 

Fearless, gripping, at once darkly funny and tender, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story set in today’s globalized world: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s most powerful and astonishing novel yet. (Copyright © Knopf/Random House. All rights reserved.)

Source:  Penguin Random House Company.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who grew up in Nigeria, was shortlisted for the 2002 Caine Prize for African Writing. Her work has been selected by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and the BBC Short Story Awards and has appeared in various literary publications, including Zoetrope and The Iowa Review.

She went on to study medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria. She gained a scholarship to study communication at Drexel University in Philadelphia, and went on to pursue a degree in communication and political science at Eastern Connecticut State University. She graduated summa cum laude from Eastern in 2001, and then completed a master's degree in creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

Adichie released her first novel Purple Hibiscus in 2003. The book has received wide critical acclaim: shortlisted for the Orange Fiction Prize (2004) and awarded the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book (2005). Her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, named after the flag of the short-lived nation of Biafra, is set before and during the Biafran War. It was awarded the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction.

In 2013 she published her third novel, Americanah which was selected by the New York Times as one of The 10 Best Books of 2013.

Adichie, who is married, divides her time between Nigeria, where she teaches writing workshops, and the United States.

Close

Select Version you want to order