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Half of a yellow sun by Chimamanda Ngozi…
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Half of a yellow sun (original 2006; edition 2011)

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

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,0492111,257 (4.13)1 / 970
Member:TheoClarke
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
Rating:
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)
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English (191)  Danish (4)  Finnish (4)  Swedish (4)  Italian (3)  French (2)  Norwegian (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (211)
Showing 1-5 of 191 (next | show all)
'the world was silent when we died
By sally tarbox on 23 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback
The title comes from the emblem of the shortlived Biafran state (1967-70); in this book we see the lead up to and results of this time of turmoil in Africa through the eyes of a group of bourgeois Nigerians. There are two wealthy sisters, their spouses (one a rather weak British ex-pat, the other a Nigerian intellectual) and their servants.

It was quite an interesting read and I learned a lot on a topic I knew little about. But I felt that because we see this terrible event through the eyes of those with influence, it somehow cushioned the reader. Although our characters undergo the horrors of air raids and have to move into grotty accommodation, their wealthy parents abroad and their friends in high places ensure things arent too bad.

I also found that Adichie writes in a very reserved and distant manner; a character undergoes an experience and reacts, but exactly what s/he is thinking or feeling is not revealed. The result for me was that a book set amid what was termed the worst disaster since World War 2 kind of washed over me. ( )
  starbox | Jul 10, 2016 |
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 |
Book Description With effortless grace, celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie illuminates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s. We experience this tumultuous decade alongside five unforgettable characters: Ugwu, a thirteen-year-old houseboy who works for Odenigbo, a university professor full of revolutionary zeal; Olanna, the professor’s beautiful young mistress who has abandoned her life in Lagos for a dusty town and her lover’s charm; and Richard, a shy young Englishman infatuated with Olanna’s willful twin sister Kainene. Half of a Yellow Sun is a tremendously evocative novel of the promise, hope, and disappointment of the Biafran war.

My Review I enjoyed reading this book very much. It was an eye opening look into the Biafran War and the Nigerian culture. Adichie has a beautiful writing style that brings all of her characters to life. It is definitely a book that will be hard to forget. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys history. ( )
  EadieB | Jun 1, 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 |
Showing 1-5 of 191 (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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Epigraph
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
Dedication
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.
Quotations
'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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