Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Half of a yellow sun by Chimamanda Ngozi…

Half of a yellow sun (original 2006; edition 2011)

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Jeni Thompson (Cover photographer), Vania Leles (Cover model)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
3,9922071,282 (4.12)1 / 967
Title:Half of a yellow sun
Authors:Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Author)
Other authors:Jeni Thompson (Cover photographer), Vania Leles (Cover model)
Info:London : Harper Perennial, 2011. Paperback.
Collections:Purged, Unread unowned, Wishlist, To borrow
Tags:1960s, 21st century, Africa, Biafra, civil war, colonialism, fiction, historical, Nigeria, Nigerian author, novel, paperback, war, World Book Night

Work details

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2006)

  1. 60
    Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (mrstreme)
  2. 50
    Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones (2810michael)
  3. 41
    The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2810michael)
    2810michael: På dansk: En halv gul sol
  4. 10
    There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra by Chinua Achebe (chazzard)
  5. 10
    Ancestor Stones by Aminatta Forna (cbl_tn)
  6. 10
    Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (Iudita)
  7. 00
    The Ghost of Sani Abacha by Chuma Nwokolo (WorldreaderBCN)
  8. 00
    The Baobabs of Tete and Other Stories by Kari Dako (WorldreaderBCN)
  9. 00
    A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali by Gil Courtemanche (imyril)
    imyril: Another difficult novel of modern Africa, focusing on the Nigeria civil war and the Biafra famine rather than Rwanda.
  10. 00
    Sunset at Dawn by Vincent Chukwuemeka Ike (goddesspt2)
    goddesspt2: A novel about the Biafra war. Cited by Adichie in her Author's Note.
  11. 11
    The Other Hand by Chris Cleave (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: The stories of a impoverished countryside boy and two upper-class sisters are told against the backdrop of the 1960s Biafran War. This book, by one of Nigeria's most famous authors, should appeal to readers interested in Nigeria's history, Nigerian society and the lives of women in Nigeria.… (more)
  12. 00
    Never again by Flora Nwapa (goddesspt2)
    goddesspt2: Cited by Adichie in her Author's Note.
  13. 00
    Graceland by Chris Abani (wandering_star)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (187)  Danish (4)  Finnish (4)  Swedish (4)  Italian (3)  French (2)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (207)
Showing 1-5 of 187 (next | show all)
I didn't know what to expect from this book. It is very sobering. I found it difficult to read at times, the descriptions of what went on during the Biafran War are so honest and un-sensationalised and brutal. I loved it, though. I thought the characters were believable. I appreciated the way Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie knew that most of her readership probably wouldn't know much about the Biafran War, or the social and political structures in Nigeria, but didn't patronise us in the way she presented the background that we needed. Olanna and her sister Kainene on the surface are the main characters in the novel, but for me the heart of the story was Ugwu. He was the most interesting, and I loved how he discovered his own voice as the novel progressed. ( )
  missizicks | May 13, 2016 |
Before this, I had only heard “Biafra” in one context before. Yep. You guessed it. Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys. (I’m being honest here – I’m not proud of it)

The events depicted in this novel (The Nigerian “Civil War”) happened before I was born, so I paused reading at some point and switched to history websites to familiarize myself with the groups of people involved and their motives (genocide, oil)

The story follows a family of middle/upper class intellectuals caught up in war, and how they lose everything and become starving refugees living from day to day. Brutal. Beautiful. Moving. (It made me cry) The pen is mightier than the sword in the long run … but it doesn’t help you when a thug wielding a gun is pulling people out of line and shooting them.
( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
Such unbelievable hardship and such strength. ( )
  cygnet81 | Mar 13, 2016 |
This is the story of five individuals during the short time of Biafra's attempted secession from Nigeria in the early '60s. First is Ugwu, a young village boy sent to be the servant of a university mathematics professor. He knows his situation in Professor Odenigbo's home is very good compared to other servant boys so he is careful not to "rock the boat" but all the while he keeps his ears and eyes open. His is a coming of age story of sorts. Professor Odenigbo is passionate and outspoken about the plight of the African continent, especially when it comes to political influences. Despite his strong opinions he is easily dominated by his mother. This weakness leads to his undoing, starting with his romance with Olanna. Olanna's relationship with Odenigbo defies her parents and their thinly veiled wish for her to be used as a pawn to marry wealth or royalty. Her strength comes from acceptance and forgiveness. Much like her twin sister, Kainene. Kainene has defiantly fallen in love with very British and very white, Richard Churchill. While the twins appear to be very different from one another they share the same underlying vulnerabilities. Finally, there is Kainene's Richard Churchill. He has come to Nigeria to write a book about Igbo art. Instead he finds himself caught up in the secession and hoping to immerse himself in the new Biafra as one of its new citizens. Then there is the violence of war...

Swirling around these characters are issues of race, identity, and sense of belonging. There is one poignant scene when Richard admits to never feeling danger despite being in the midst of a brutal massacre. His white skin allowed him to remain outside the violence. Even his romance with an Igbo woman did nothing to threaten his sense of being merely an innocent outsider. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Mar 2, 2016 |
This was so much more painful to read than Americanah was. It took me several times longer to read, too, but that wasn't why; I just had some other things in the last few weeks that took up most of the time I usually use for reading. Still, amazing, and I think Adichie has become one of the authors whose books I'll automatically want to read just because she wrote them.
  mirikayla | Feb 8, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 187 (next | show all)
While there are disturbing scenes, the writing is superb, and Adichie puts a human face on war-torn Africa. The characters are authentic, the story is compelling. It is a worthwhile read, which will linger in your thoughts long after you turn the last page.

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngoziprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andoh, AdjoaReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sundström, JoakimTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Today I see it still--

Dry, wire-thin in sun and dust of the dry months--

Headstone on tiny debris of passionate courage.--

Chinua Achebe,

From "Mango Seedling" in

Christmas in Biafra and Other Poems
My grandfathers, whom I never knew,
Nwoye David Adichie and Aro-Nweke Felix Odigwe,
did not survive the war.
My grandmothers, Nwabuodu Regina Odigwe and Nwamgbafor Agnes Adiche, remarkable women
both, did.
This book is dedicated to their memories:
ka fa nodu na ndokwa.
And to Mellitus, wherever he may be.
First words
Master was a little crazy; he had spent too many years reading books overseas, talked to himself in his office, did not always return greetings, and had too much hair.
'I am Nigerian because a white man created Nigeria and gave me that identity. I am black because the white man constructed black to be as different as possible from his white. But I was Igbo before the white man came.'
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0007200285, Paperback)

In 1960s Nigeria, a country blighted by civil war, three lives intersect. Ugwu, a boy from a poor village, works as a houseboy for a university professor. Olanna, a young woman, has abandoned her life of privilege in Lagos to live with her charismatic new lover, the professor. And Richard, a shy English writer, is in thrall to Olanna's enigmatic twin sister. As the horrific Biafran War engulfs them, they are thrown together and pulled apart in ways they had never imagined. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's masterpiece, winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction, is a novel about Africa in a wider sense: about the end of colonialism, ethnic allegiances, class and race - and about the ways in which love can complicate all of these things.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:36 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A novel set during Nigeria's struggle for independence in the 1960s involving five characters including thirteen-year-old Ugwu, a university professor, the professor's mistress, and a young Englishman named Richard.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 8 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
111 avail.
810 wanted
8 pay6 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.12)
0.5 2
1 5
1.5 1
2 23
2.5 19
3 140
3.5 77
4 446
4.5 114
5 369


3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

New Internationalist

An edition of this book was published by New Internationalist.

» Publisher information page

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

» Publisher information page

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,914,980 books! | Top bar: Always visible