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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
3,7491881,389 (4.12)1 / 949
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)
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  3. 41
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    2810michael: På dansk: En halv gul sol
  4. 10
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  5. 10
    Ancestor Stones by Aminatta Forna (cbl_tn)
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    Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (Iudita)
  7. 00
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  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
    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)
  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)

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English (168)  Danish (4)  Finnish (4)  Swedish (4)  Italian (3)  French (2)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (188)
Showing 1-5 of 168 (next | show all)
I'm squarely ambivalent. The writing was lovely and the early sections quite delightful - but I found myself struggling to keep myself turning the pages as the book progressed. It wasn't as harrowing as it could (should?) have been, nor was it in any way bad writing or uninteresting. I just... couldn't get into it. Curse of the wrong time, perhaps? All I know: I'm going to read Americanah post-haste to find out.

http://ragingbiblioholism.com/2015/03/25/half-of-a-yellow-sun/ ( )
1 vote drewsof | Sep 30, 2015 |
I'm squarely ambivalent. The writing was lovely and the early sections quite delightful - but I found myself struggling to keep myself turning the pages as the book progressed. It wasn't as harrowing as it could (should?) have been, nor was it in any way bad writing or uninteresting. I just... couldn't get into it. Curse of the wrong time, perhaps? All I know: I'm going to read Americanah post-haste to find out.

http://ragingbiblioholism.com/2015/03/25/half-of-a-yellow-sun/ ( )
  drewsof | Sep 30, 2015 |
“If intentions were horses...” Wait, what's the proverb?

I've had intentions of reading Half of a Yellow Sun since I first noticed it in 2008. It has been sitting patiently at the top of my to-read pile for years. I'm not sure why it took this long, but it did. Finally, I can say I've read it and, not surprisingly, I enjoyed it greatly.

This is such an evocative and poetic novel. The language, the story, the characters, the setting—this is nearly a perfect novel. I was truly engaged and greatly informed. So why not perfect? Well, the pacing seemed off—the book drags a bit in the middle. And it does perhaps border on the melodramatic occasionally. So what? Everything done right in this novel makes up for its weaker points.

As I look back a few days after finishing Half of a Yellow Sun, I realize what stuck with me most was the characters. I really love watching Kainene, Ugwu, and Richard as well as many of the secondary characters. There were times I didn't like these characters, moments when they angered or disappointed me, but I guess this is a testament to how much I had invested in them and believed them to be real. I wasn't quite as invested in Olanna and Odenigbo, but I still enjoyed their respective stories.

I look forward to reading more from Adichie. Not only has this work made me excited about the author herself, but also other writers from the region whose work I haven't read in far too many years (Achebe) and other authors I have yet to discover. I have every intention to read a little more from west Africa in the next year or so. “...two intentions don't make a right”? “...people who live in glass houses should not have intentions”?

“Better late than never.” ( )
  chrisblocker | Sep 17, 2015 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 168 (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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