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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
4,0302091,267 (4.13)1 / 968
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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    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)
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    Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (Iudita)
  7. 00
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    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)

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English (189)  Danish (4)  Finnish (4)  Swedish (4)  Italian (3)  French (2)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (209)
Showing 1-5 of 189 (next | show all)
A well written, well constructed book. The young author deserves a lot of credit for the sustained piece of work based on family memories and much reading of works by older writers who had direct experience of the Biafran War. A careful selection of characters and structure allows the story of the war to be told from different viewpoints all of them civilian. This is not a military history and all the better for it. The only caveat I would make is that the story is told very much from the experience of a well-off, middle class point of view. A Biafran story but very much with a setting familiar to a European audience. The experience of many Biafrans was much more horrific than the story told here. But it's a novel not an authoritative history and as such it does a very good job. This book tells a good story about friendship and is written in a very entertaining way
  Hayfastutman | Jun 9, 2016 |
One of the best books I've read in years. It's about the Nigerian Civil War, the one in which Biafra declared independence and the western powers let Nigeria starve the rebels into submission. ( )
  ShelleyAlberta | Jun 4, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 189 (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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