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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
3,7201841,406 (4.12)1 / 945
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. 50
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    2810michael: På dansk: En halv gul sol
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    Little Bee 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)
  5. 10
    There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra by Chinua Achebe (chazzard)
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    The Baobabs of Tete and Other Stories by Kari Dako (WorldreaderBCN)
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    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.
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    Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (Iudita)
  11. 00
    Sunset at Dawn by Vincent Chukwuemeka Ike (goddesspt2)
    goddesspt2: A novel about the Biafra war. Cited by Adichie in her Author's Note.
  12. 00
    Never again by Flora Nwapa (goddesspt2)
    goddesspt2: Cited by Adichie in her Author's Note.
  13. 00
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English (165)  Danish (4)  Swedish (4)  Italian (3)  Finnish (3)  French (2)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (184)
Showing 1-5 of 165 (next | show all)
This story begins in Nigeria in the early 1960s, shortly after the country has gained independence from Britain, and continues through the civil war of the late 1960s, when the eastern region of Nigeria claimed independence as the Republic of Biafra. The book tells the stories of several characters as they struggle through these challenging and horrific times.

The novel and its characters provide an interesting and relevant commentary on the lasting and devastating effects that colonization has on the colonized country. At times the book was difficult to read as it depicted the violence and mass starvation that was part of the war. I had to put it down and stop reading several times because it was too much.

I wasn’t extremely impressed by the writing, and the characters didn’t immediately draw me in, but overall I would recommend the book.
( )
  klburnside | Aug 11, 2015 |
Well, the search for a bad Nigerian novel goes on. I already avoid mentioning the Russians when discussing literature with foreigners as it's so easy to find yourself admitting that the English might not be the world champions of the form. If you mention Charlotte Brontë they just pretend they've never heard of her. I'm worried that I may have to place us in third behind Nigeria.

So, faults first. She's occasionally telly not showy. She's prone to the occasional adverb or modifier-heavy noun phrase. Some of the narration and dialogue in the early chapters is a forced stilt march.

None of these criticisms apply to Ugwu's chapters which are consistently brilliant. What she's particularly good at is creating believable and interesting characters, spooling out the soap opera of their lives and then dumping them into extraordinary events. She's also not without humour. I liked poor English Richard who has to apologise after sex and who carries on shaving when the shelling begins. ( )
  Lukerik | May 17, 2015 |
2.5 rounded up to 3

I really, really wanted to love this book. I went into it with super high expectations. However, as I actually delved into it something just kind of fell flat for me. I could not find a single character I liked enough to care what happened to them. Not even the new country, Biafra, could gain my sympathies. Not liking the citizens made it hard for me to care how it fared in the war. I'm not saying they (characters) weren't well-written because I think that they were. I understand who they were, why they were, and how they evolved through the conflict but I was unable to connect on an emotional level to anyone or any part of the book and for this sort of book I find that to be disastrous to my level of enjoyment.

That said, the writing was very good and I'm sure I'll read more of this author. I also am glad I read it because it's a part of African history (one of many, many parts) of which I was completely unaware. It's was a worthy way to spend a few days of my reading time but I left the experience underwhelmed by the story itself. ( )
  tnociti | Apr 5, 2015 |
Excellent book; must read more by this author! Learned all about the Nigeria conflict re Biafra, that I knew nothing about and it was very interesting. ( )
  sandra.k.heinzman | Apr 2, 2015 |
Excellent book; must read more by this author! Learned all about the Nigeria conflict re Biafra, that I knew nothing about and it was very interesting. ( )
  sandra.k.heinzman | Apr 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 165 (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
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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.'
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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

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