Half of a Yellow Sun

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Knopf Canada | October 29, 2010 | Kobo Edition (eBook)

Half of a Yellow Sun is rated 4.6667 out of 5 by 9.
With her award-winning debut novel, Purple Hibiscus, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was heralded by the Washington Post Book World as the “21st century daughter” of Chinua Achebe. Now, in her masterly, haunting new novel, she recreates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra’s impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in Nigeria during the 1960s.

With the effortless grace of a natural storyteller, Adichie weaves together the lives of five characters caught up in the extraordinary tumult of the decade. Fifteen-year-old Ugwu is houseboy to Odenigbo, a university professor who sends him to school, and in whose living room Ugwu hears voices full of revolutionary zeal. Odenigbo’s beautiful mistress, Olanna, a sociology teacher, is running away from her parents’ world of wealth and excess; Kainene, her urbane twin, is taking over their father’s business; and Kainene’s English lover, Richard, forms a bridge between their two worlds. As we follow these intertwined lives through a military coup, the Biafran secession and the subsequent war, Adichie brilliantly evokes the promise, and intimately, the devastating disappointments that marked this time and place.
Epic, ambitious and triumphantly realized, Half of a Yellow Sun is a more powerful, dramatic and intensely emotional picture of modern Africa than any we have had before.


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: October 29, 2010

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307373541

ISBN - 13: 9780307373540

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Must Read! Half of a Yellow Sun follows the lives of three characters whose lives are connected. Ugwu is a thirteen year old boy who leaves his village to become a house-boy for a university professor. He realises his life is not like the life of other house-boys. They do not sleep in a spare room within the homes of their Masters, nor are they encouraged to read books the way that Ugwu is. Ugwu is eager to please and proves himself constantly to be a valuable asset to his Master's household. Olanna is the professor's mistress. She and her twin sister have led priveleged lives in Lagos, due to their father's status. She gives up that life in order to live a more exciting life with her "revolutionary lover" as her sister often describes the professor. Then there is Richard, Unlike the rest of the characters within the pages, Richard is a white man who is eager to make his life in Africa. He is obesessed with Olanna's twin sister, who is very different from Olanna, as she is a very strong, fearless, and independent woman. Their lives change when war breaks out - the book re-creates the struggle of the 1960's between Nigeria and Biafra - and as igbo speaking people, they find themselves fighting for the right to live. I don't know where to start with this book. I fell in love with it in a way that is rare for me. The characters are each filled with such energy and very distinctive, and I think what surprised me the most with the characters, is that even those who make a brief appearance were wonderfully defined. The detail of the war itself is phenomenal and often brutal. Chilling scenes are often described such as when Olanna is on a train on her way back home. Olanna is seated on the floor, urine spreading on the floor of the train and a lady asks her to come and take a look at something. Olanna looks into the bowl that the woman is holding and there is a little girl's head with ashy-gray skin, braided hair, rolled-back eyes and open mouth. That's an image that will stay with me for a long time. Raw emotion leaps from the pages in this novel and I often found myself biting my lip as I worried about the characters. Thanks to the brilliant detail, each of them is so easy to feel attached to and I had to keep stopping myself from skipping ahead to reassure myself that they were all fine. The glimpse of another culture was definitely what made this book something special for me though. I enjoyed learning about the foods, the language - there are words in igbo sprinkled throughout the pages -, the people, and the landscape. It was just an amazing novel. It says a lot that it's a little over 400 pages and I practically inhaled it in just over a day. This one is a definite must read.
Date published: 2011-03-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from a compeling story! a compeling story!
Date published: 2009-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous! I cannot agree more with the reviewers who found it difficult to put this book down. I just picked it up to browse(it was my mum's) and just had to read all of it!
Date published: 2009-11-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The strength of the sun This book tells the story of the struggles endured by the Igbo people in Nigeria in the late 1960`s, struggling to create the independent republic of Biafra in response to the unjust massacre of their tribe. I don`t believe I have ever read a book where I felt EVERY character held great significance to the story. I feel humbled by the tales of those who survived, honoured to share in their history and shamed by the silence of the world. "The World Was Silent When We Died"...
Date published: 2009-01-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Raw and Realistic Adichie's latest novel is a gem, depicting the conflict within Nigeria during the secession, when the short-lived independent state of Biafra was created. Hundreds of thousands of people died during this time, from hunger, famine, and violence. "Half of a Yellow Sun" delves into the lives of one fictionary family in particular, and those people surrounding it. The characters vary greatly in how they react and live with the conflict, or choose not to, which digs deep into the human condition and human nature. The novel is multi-layered, offering the reader not only the main conflict and action of the war, but the ramifications on Nigerians' lives. The details and actions and reactions of the characters make them come alive- you want to meet them. This realistic story weaves together the violence of the time with the love and binding ties that can unite two people, a family, or an entire country. The spurts of humour display that the human propensity to hope is always evident amidst despair. An emotional read that forces readers to question their own strength and courage, and confront the violence going on in today's world in a new light.
Date published: 2008-07-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exceptional! This book had me hooked from the first page. I couldn't put it down. If you are looking for a great read, look no further!
Date published: 2008-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put this down! Adichie is amazing, the character development in this novel is fabulous. After putting down the book, I find myself wondering, what would those characters would be doing now? This is a MUST read for this year!
Date published: 2008-01-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Astonishing Sojourn into a History Unknown This well-written novel explores one acclectic family's struggle to stay alive and together during the Biafran war. Inter-tribal conflict, colonialism, and the susceptability of the individual to both of these things are illuminated with jarring clarity. Adichie's character's are complicated and evolve rapidly. The specter of the political enmeshes the plight of the individual, rendering the novel both highly informative and accessible.
Date published: 2008-01-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from "Hauntingly Beautiful" Exception writing, well worth reading
Date published: 2007-12-24

– More About This Product –

Half of a Yellow Sun

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: October 29, 2010

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307373541

ISBN - 13: 9780307373540

From the Publisher

With her award-winning debut novel, Purple Hibiscus, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was heralded by the Washington Post Book World as the “21st century daughter” of Chinua Achebe. Now, in her masterly, haunting new novel, she recreates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra’s impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in Nigeria during the 1960s.

With the effortless grace of a natural storyteller, Adichie weaves together the lives of five characters caught up in the extraordinary tumult of the decade. Fifteen-year-old Ugwu is houseboy to Odenigbo, a university professor who sends him to school, and in whose living room Ugwu hears voices full of revolutionary zeal. Odenigbo’s beautiful mistress, Olanna, a sociology teacher, is running away from her parents’ world of wealth and excess; Kainene, her urbane twin, is taking over their father’s business; and Kainene’s English lover, Richard, forms a bridge between their two worlds. As we follow these intertwined lives through a military coup, the Biafran secession and the subsequent war, Adichie brilliantly evokes the promise, and intimately, the devastating disappointments that marked this time and place.
Epic, ambitious and triumphantly realized, Half of a Yellow Sun is a more powerful, dramatic and intensely emotional picture of modern Africa than any we have had before.


From the Hardcover edition.
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