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Book Review: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, book review

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah is a book written in the year 2013 by Chimamanda Adichie.

Why did people ask ‘what is it about?’ as if a novel had to be about only one thing”- these were the words of Chimamanda Adichie. She is a Nigerian writer whose works range from short stories to non-fiction to novels.

She was born on September 15, 1977 and she attracts the young and new generations to African literature. Chimamanda’s described as the most prominent in “The Times Literary Supplement.”

She was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2008. Some of her notable books are Purple Hibiscus (2003), Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), We should all Be Feminists (2014) and the short story collection, The thing Around your Neck (2009) among other books.

The book does not only tells a great and awesome story, it also makes you change the world view. The novel underscores a desire at the same time an impossible pain to be free.

The book narrates the story of a smart, strong-willed Nigerian woman named Ifemelu who after she leaves for America endures so many challenges before graduating from college.

She started a blog on “Various Observations about American Blacks by a Non- American Blacks” formerly known as Negroes. Also, winning a fellowship at Princeton just as Adichie did.

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Adichie acknowledges many of Ifemelu’s experiences as hers. Ifemelu’s love in secondary school was equally brilliant and intelligent. However, he outstayed his visa and he took illegal jobs in London.

Ifemelu and Obinze represent a new immigrant well fed and watered but with undesirable situation. Obinze was deported when he failed soon while Ifemelu flourishes because she seeks authenticity.

Ifemelu stops hiding her Nigerian accent under America accent that convince telemarketers that she is white. she’s happy and free.

Later on, when she returns to Nigeria, she is still haunted by the terrific experience which leaves her reeling. Obinze a rich property developer back in Lagos.

Although, the book threatens a morphs into a simple story of their reunion. It also stretches into a scalding assessment of Nigeria, a country too proud to have patience for “Americanahs”.

The book is very empathetic with both worldly and geographical precise. It examines blackness in America, Nigeria and Britain and a consistent dissection of the universal human experience.

It touches on the issues of identity, loss and loneliness. This is a review of the book Americanah. Hopefully you will be encouraged to read it if you have not!

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