Americanah by Adichie, Chimamanda NgoziAmericanah by Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi

Americanah

byAdichie, Chimamanda Ngozi

Paperback | March 4, 2014

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A searing new novel, at once sweeping and intimate, by the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun: a story of love and race centred around a man and woman from Nigeria who seemed destined to be together--until the choices they are forced to make tear them apart.
     Ifemelu--beautiful, self-assured--left Nigeria 15 years ago, and now studies in Princeton as a Graduate Fellow. Obinze--handsome and kind-hearted--was Ifemelu's teenage love; he'd hoped to join her in America, but post 9/11 America wouldn't let him in.
     Years later, when they reunite in Nigeria, neither is the same person who left home. Obinze is the kind of successful "Big Man" he'd scorned in his youth, and Ifemelu has become an "Americanah"--a different version of her former self, one with a new accent and attitude. As they revisit their shared passion--for their homeland and for each other--they must face the largest challenges of their lives.
CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE's work has appeared in various publications, including the New Yorker, Granta and Zoetrope. She is the author of The Thing Around Your Neck and of 2 novels, Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Orange Prize and was a NBCC Finalist. A recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she divides her time b...
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Title:AmericanahFormat:PaperbackDimensions:608 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 1 inPublished:March 4, 2014Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307397920

ISBN - 13:9780307397928

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Looooved it Beautiful writing, poetic words. Adibe tackles a variety of complex race issues - race in Nigeria, American blackness vs African Vs Caribbean blackness, the intersectionality of race and gender and economic status, cultural identity and bonding with others. So many complex issues covered with such grace, subtlety and depth. One of my favorite pieces of literature, truly a gem.
Date published: 2017-10-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Read! Very interesting book, captivated my attention throughout the book. Very thoughtful writing, giving an alternative perspective on western culture.
Date published: 2017-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read This! I read this for school and I'm so glad I did! This book is so important! Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a wonderful and thoughtful writer.
Date published: 2017-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great book Very insightful. Draws attention to a new cultural perspective in the western world
Date published: 2017-04-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Read! I recently bought this book to gift to a friend because I couldn't stop reading it as soon as I opened up the first chapter. There aren't many books out there that simply get you addicted with the first few pages. Story was amazing.
Date published: 2017-03-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not as good as I expected I found this book a bit preachy. But it was an enjoyable read.
Date published: 2017-03-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from An Important Story Americanah is an epic love story that tells the tale of Ifemelu, her immigration to the United States from Nigeria, and her eventual emigration back to Nigeria. This is a book about race in America, and Adichie isn't afraid to tackle difficult topics head on. When Ifemelu is young, before her immigration to the United States, she falls in love with Obinze. After her departure their relationship fades, and he takes a different path, moving to London where he lives illegally. Though living in different worlds, the two always think of one another, and we spend much of the story wondering if they will become reunited. While in American, Ifemelu dates both a white man and a black American man. Obinze felt like the constant with which these experimental men were measured against - would anyone ever stack up? Ifemelu is a direct and bold personality, and has no problem with pointing out other people's faults. I loved her relationship with Curt, the white man; he loved her fully and respected anything she had to say regarding race, loving her natural hair while she was embarrassed by it. Ifemelu, however, always found fault with Curt; she found his racial respect frustrating, as if he could never "get it". In many ways that is true, as a wealthy white man in American he could never fully understand her experience, but I wanted her to let him in. I found Ifemelu hilarious at times, and incredibly frustrating at others. Maybe that's because I am the product of an interracial relationship, and I'm in one as well. The narrative style is unique - we flip between Ifemelu and Obinze, past and present, and my personal favourite: Ifemelus's blog posts. Ifemelu writes a successful blog about race in America, and choice blog posts are interspersed throughout the book like mini essays. These are essential and poignant, and made much of the book for me. I loved them. Some of the best moments for me were in the discussion of hair. There is discussion of good hair, nappy hair, conforming through hair, and embracing hair. I'm half black - my mother is Jamaican and my father is Irish/English - and I have curly hair. Not black hair, not wavy hair, but curly. I spent most of my youth hating everything about it, and killing it with flat irons and relaxers (relaxer burn is real!), all the while hoping it wouldn't rain as to ruin all of my hard work. I eventually decided to stop torturing my hair, grow out the relaxer, and learned to be OK with the stuff that grew out of my head. It was a long journey, but worth it. However, to this day, I feel like my curls don't look as professional as straight hair does. I long to go swimming without having to consider what frizz reducing and controlling products I'll have to lug along with me for afterwards. It's amazing to me how much of a hold hair can have over enjoyment of life, and it was comforting to see this reflected in literature. It was fascinating to see race through Ifemelu's eyes - how race only became a prevalent part of her life in America, and when she returned to Nigeria she felt her blackness fade away. I thought about this, and realized that if curly hair were the majority, I likely wouldn't feel so much frustration towards mine. It's amazing the impact that culture has on self-worth. Adichie dives into the election of Obama, which I remember so well. Like the characters in the story, I had similar fears - would someone try to harm him? Could this actually make issues of race worse? It's fascinating to read this book in the era of Trump, and sad to see that this may have been true. I remember the hope and tears shed when Obama was elected, and appreciate Adichie's perspective on that moment in history. I'm Canadian, but whatever happens in American always makes its ways over to us in one way or another. The struggles of immigration are highlighted from two perspectives: Ifemelu's immigration to America, and Obinze's illegal immigration to London. They both have struggles and successes, and one particular moment with Infemelu had me in tears. They bother, though in completely different ways, end up returning to Nigeria. There's a lot going on with this book, but it was so worth it for me. Adichie is an amazing storyteller, and clearly extremely intelligent. I did take issue with certain sentiments, but will keep the controversy to myself. If you're interested in the black experience in America, read this book. If you're not interested in that experience, you must read this book.
Date published: 2017-03-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book! This book came highly recommended by friends and family....they were definitely right! Beautifully written, critical and witty!!
Date published: 2017-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Interesting Ngozi made the book so interesting that as a black girl in a foreign land i felt most part of my story being told. Very good and interesting read
Date published: 2016-11-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great book Beautifully written, touching on important topics like modern attitudes to race, spanning three continents and touching on issues of identity, loss and loneliness.
Date published: 2016-11-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best #plumreview This is officially one of my favourite books. It's written flawlessly. The characters made me happy, angry, sad and a whole range of emotions throughout the book. Re-reading this for sure! #plumreview
Date published: 2016-11-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it I really enjoyed this book. The characters and story was really engaging and thought provoking.
Date published: 2016-11-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from I enjoyed this book I bought this book a few months ago. When I first started reading it, I could not keep up with the book. The story was a bit everywhere. As a Nigerian, I know that was how we tell stories but I didn't think that was how we write stories too so I dumped the book but my boyfriend urged me to finish it. I finally picked it up again a month later and my goodness It was something. I could not put it down. It went everywhere but the shower with me(and that was only because it would not survive the water). I would recommend this any of my friend from high school as a lot of us are studying abroad and it looks like someone just told our story. I feel like the ending was a bit rushed as there was barely any detail to it. So much details were put in the beginning of the book that at the end it seemed like she tried to cram the rest of the story into some pages due to a paper count limit.
Date published: 2015-10-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sooo Good The first book I read from this author and it was sooo good. There are parts about the main characters I can completely understand. The author perfectly captures the love between two people who desire each other and long to be together, but have to overcome obstacles from everything from family to societal expectations. There's ultimately so much more in this book, very well written.
Date published: 2015-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it Very interesting and a must read! Its a book you will not want to put down. It talks about true love.
Date published: 2014-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Delightful Enjoyed it very much,definitely one of the best I have read.
Date published: 2014-11-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from To be on the outside looking in, to be on the inside looking back There was something about "Americanah" that wouldn't let me give up on it. It has taken me more than a year to finish it, after picking it up and putting it down repeatedly, but I can gladly say I have now read every single page of it... to mixed feelings. There was nothing that grabbed on to my full attention but there were plenty of nuggets that left me wanting more. Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie is without a doubt a talented writer, and a powerful speaker from her stimulating TED talks. It's a fact that she has a glib tongue and a masterful handle on words. More importantly, she has the mind of a thinker and a dreamer, an optimist but also a realist. Her provocative commentary about race, culture, identity, gender, patriotism, politics, and the list goes on, fills the pages of "Americanah". Such critical thoughts were a great eye-opener, insights that widen a reader's mind and perspective on these delicate matters. I found myself constantly nodding in concurrence with what Adichie had to say. However, the directionless plot and the lost characters cloud what could have been a defining work. It can speak to an immigrant's experience and to a person's journey in life, but it felt very stifled in "Americanah", as though Adichie imposed upon a fictional narrative on a non-fictional conversation. In the novel, one of the characters muses, "So if you're going to write about race, you have to make sure it's so lyrical and subtle that the reader who doesn't read between the lines won't even know it's about race." This, Adichie definitely does not do. Brusque but inviting, blunt but fair, was how Adichie wrote about race, which was truly refreshing to read. The imbalance of the expressive real-world ideologies and the inconsequential fictional romance in "Americanah" was what was jarring and dissatisfying for me. It is weird to feel strongly in favour for a novel that has said so much but has left little in me to enthuse about.
Date published: 2014-11-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very likable, but not lovable This is the love story of Ifemelu and Obinze, told over two continents and two decades. Americanah is immensely readable and it drew me in, particularly with its ability to create a vivid atmosphere. Adichie writes wonderfully about smell, taste, colour, and texture. However, one of my friends pointed out that the book isn’t emotional. I completely agree – you stay at arm’s length from the characters, perhaps because the story is told in third-person and actions rather than feelings are explored.
Date published: 2014-11-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Enlightening There were moments of excitements and moments that you felt you could have skipped over but perhaps each moment was necessary to fully encompass the culture and characters of this book. It brought forth an attention to cultural differences and what that can mean for each person. The topic of race is really well covered in this story with a sense of honesty and clarity. Great book for a book club as it can bring up much discussion.
Date published: 2014-06-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A truly engaging book Never have I ever read a book twice. This is my second time through and it was just as great as the first. Adichie's characters are so real, so relatable. The ease with which she expresses sometimes complex social interactions is unusual. Every person who has ever moved from one place to the next can find at least one scenario to relate to in this book. It is a story of love and life but not the easy predictable kind of love. It's the true gritty love that gets down to business and truly stands the test of time. It is also more than this in it's commentary on race and social complexities in the western world. This is one I will keep coming back to
Date published: 2014-05-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Book Great book
Date published: 2014-03-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The outsider She is great at allowing us to see North America as an outsider would. It has many funny moments too.
Date published: 2014-02-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Seeing race for the first time I gained a deeper understanding of immigration and of race issues. Well-written, thought-provoking prose. A very good read.
Date published: 2013-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Adiche - one of the best writers from any country Ms Adichie is an amazing writer. I have read the very few books she has written and I have just finished her latest book. She has the ability to bring the reader into her narrative and go along with her as she tells her tale. I hope she writes another book very soon.
Date published: 2013-06-03

Editorial Reviews

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER NATIONAL BESTSELLERWINNER 2013 – National Book Critics Circle Award for FictionFINALIST 2014 – Baileys Women’s Prize for FictionFINALIST 2014 – Andrew Carnegie Medal for FictionSHORTLIST 2015 – International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award“Americanah is most memorable for its fine-tuned, scathing observations about worldly Nigerians and the ways they create new identities out of pretension and aspiration…. Adichie displays much keen critical intelligence about how we can unwittingly betray our truest selves.” —Janet Maslin, The New York Times Book Review  “Masterful.... An expansive, epic love story set in three countries, Adichie’s fourth book pulls no punches with regard to race, class, and the high-risk, heart-tearing struggle for belonging in a fractured world.” —O, The Oprah Magazine  “Superb…. A lush, big-hearted love story that also happens to be a piercingly funny social critique.” —Vogue  “‘You can’t write an honest novel about race in this country,’ comments a character towards the end of Americanah. It’s a slyly self-referential joke since, with her ambitious third novel, prize-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie sets out to prove otherwise, placing race squarely, unapologetically and entertainingly centre-stage…Written with flair and warmth, this impressively poised novel makes the most of Adichie’s sense of wry detachment as an outsider without losing an affectionate humour for both her native Nigeria and adopted country.” —Daily Mail  “An incredibly readable and rich tapestry of Nigerian and American life, and the ways a handful of vivid characters—so vivid they feel like family—try to live in both worlds simultaneously. 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—a single mom, a student, a hairdresser. This is a very funny, very warm and moving intergenerational epic that confirms Adichie’s virtuosity, boundless empathy and searing social acuity.” —Dave Eggers, author of A Hologram for the King“Adichie’s great gift is that she has always brought us into the territory of the previously unexplored. She writes about that which others have kept silent. Americanah is no exception. This is not just a story that unfolds across three different continents, it is also a keenly observed examination of race, identity and belonging in the global landscapes of Africans and Americans. If Joyce had silence, exile and cunning for his defense, Adichie has flair, loss and longing. And Adichie is brave enough to allow the story to unfold with a distinct straightforward simplicity that never loses its edgy intellect.” —Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin “Adichie burst onto the literary scene in 2006 with Half of a Yellow Sun, her searing depiction of the civil war in Nigeria. Her equally compelling and important new novel follows the lives of that country’s postwar generation as they suffer endemic corruption and poverty under a military dictatorship. An unflinching but compassionate observer, Adichie writes a vibrant tale about love, betrayal, and destiny…. [A] touching love story and an illuminating portrait of a country still in political turmoil.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)