One of "The""New York Times"'s Ten Best Books of the Year Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction An NPR "Great Reads" Book, a "Chicago Tribune" Best Book, a "Washington Post "Notable Book, a "Seattle Times "Best Book, an "Entertainment Weekly" Top Fiction Book, a "Newsday "Top 10 Book, and a "Goodreads "Best of the Year pick.
A powerful, tender story of race and identity by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of "Half of a Yellow Sun." 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 everything you want in contemporary fiction—it is soaring and expansive, fearlessly smart and hilariously subversive. It is a glimpse into the new Nigeria and a rich, complicated (and funny!) portrayal of race and immigration in America and the UK. And that's kind of all I want to tell you, because a plot summary on a 3x5 card can't do this novel justice. Should I mention the fantastic set-pieces? Scenes like a braiding session at a hair salon in Trenton, a post-Obama dinner party in Manhattan, a cocktail hour among hip returnees in Lagos, and a meeting with marriage arrangers at a London McDonald's? Or maybe I should focus on the characters, like the feminist race blogger and the reluctantly nouveau riche Nigerian businessman. That's only a sliver of what this bountifully packed novel has to offer. So just read it—we'll talk/gush about it later. ~ Liz S.
Full of longing for both love and country, Americanah is the story of two Nigerians who find themselves separated by continents and time on their escape from their politically unstable home. While Ifemelu makes her way to America in search of an education, Obinze is locked away from the states and finds himself in London sans papers. Together their stories weave an outsider's perspective on western society. Insightful, funny, and astute Adichie has garnered much attention for this novel, and I'm sure you'll find it's deservedly so. ~ Louise