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by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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7,3092871,184 (4.17)556
"A young woman from Nigeria leaves behind her home and her first love to start a new life in America, only to find her dreams are not all she expected"--
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English (265)  Italian (3)  Spanish (3)  French (3)  Dutch (3)  Catalan (2)  Norwegian (2)  Swedish (2)  Finnish (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Piratical (1)  All languages (287)
Showing 1-5 of 265 (next | show all)
Brilliant ( )
  gasface | Sep 15, 2023 |
A masterpiece. ( )
  cbwalsh | Sep 13, 2023 |
Americanah stands as an important novel dealing about the issue of racism in The United States. The main character Ifemelu is like the author herself, an immigrant to the States from Nigeria. She struggles hard to achieve success and finally finds it by starting a blog on racism in America. For me, it is in these blogs where the novel really shines. Time and time again Ifemelu takes what is going on in her own personal life and writes a blog about it, and then that blog is included into the novel. My eyes were opened so many times by these blogs !
But then Ifemelu decides to give up her blog and return to Nigeria and unfortunately, this is when I started to loose interest in the novel. Ifemelu does start a blog again, and they are also quite interesting. But so much of this part of the novel is about the reunion of Ifemelu and her childhood sweetheart. What started out as an important novel about racism in The United States turned into a soap opera like romance novel. ( )
  kevinkevbo | Jul 14, 2023 |
A colleague pointed out that there is a lot of Jane Austen in this novel- it essentially follows the marriage plot, the central conflict being Ifemelu's search for a partner. Luckily, she is sought after by a few rich and handsome suitors in both the US and Nigeria. Americanah is literature of the privileged, with a lot of insight about race but surprisingly tone-deaf about class. Like the Bennett sisters, Ifemelu faces just enough adversity to gain our sympathy, but not enough to dramatically alter her world view.

The most compelling part of the story is Obinze's travails in London, which feels like a more accurate depiction of the immigrant experience than Ifemelu's fortuitous salvation by rich white people. ( )
  jonbrammer | Jul 1, 2023 |
It's A) a love story, B) a coming of age novel, C) a treatise on race in the United States, D) all of the above. If you picked D, you're correct!

Adichie's deconstruction of race in America, as seen through a newcomer's eyes, is potent and compelling. She has a keen eye and a delicate, almost considerate, touch when discussing sensitive (for most white folks) topics like white privilege and ignorance.

In some places her prose is languid and poetic and in others it feels taut and affected. It all somehow works, though. Despite the divergent flow of the writing, it feels natural and necessary and intentional.

I liked Ifemelu and Obinze and I rooted for them both. Together and separately, as they were navigating their worlds. I felt for each other as they celebrated triumphs and weathered their personal storms. Although I can't say I ever felt *wholly* invested in them as characters, they were so smart, open, and adventurous that I felt an easy kinship with them that was enough for me to want the best for them.

I'd like to give this five stars but, if I'm honest, Americanah is a bit of a mess. It's a little bit all over the place (timeline, narration, location, genre) but everywhere it ends up is beautiful in its own right. I would happily recommend it. ( )
1 vote Jess.Stetson | Apr 4, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 265 (next | show all)
The stories have shifted, too. Nowadays, there’s little angsting about national identity in a post-colonial context or, for that matter, over catastrophe and want. Instead, a bevy of young Africans are shaping the future of fiction, reportage and critique on their continent, and perhaps well beyond.

“It’s beyond an evolution — it’s a revolution,” says Nigerian-American Ikhide Ikheloa, a critic and prominent observer of the scene.

It may have begun in 2003, when Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s first novel, Purple Hibiscus, was published — and not just by an American publisher but by a Nigerian one, too. By now, Adichie is the still-young doyenne of the contemporary African lit scene. Her recent novel, Americanah, found a perch on the New York Times list of top 10 novels of 2013 — just weeks before Beyoncé sampled one of Adichie’s TED talks on her new album.

Read more: Printed in Africa | Fast forward | OZY
added by elwetritsche | editOzy, Pooja Bhatia (Jan 31, 2014)
But what makes the book such a good read—despite an anticlimactic ending—is that it's not meant as a cultural criticism, but more as a series of rich observations.
added by WeeklyAlibi | editWeekly Alibi, Mark Lopez (Jul 4, 2013)
“Americanah” examines blackness in America, Nigeria and Britain, but it’s also a steady-handed dissection of the universal human experience — a platitude made fresh by the accuracy of Adichie’s observations.
added by ozzer | editNew York Times, MIKE PEED (Jun 7, 2013)

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngoziprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andoh, AdjoaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weintraub, AbbyCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This book is for our next generation, nda na-abia n'iru: Toks, Chisom, Amaka,

Chinedum, Kamsiyonna and Arinze

For my wonderful father in this, his eightieth year

And, as always, for Ivara.
First words
Princeton, in the summer, smelled of nothing, and Ifemelu like the tranquil greenness of the many trees, the clean streets and stately homes, the delicately shops and the quiet, abiding air of earned grace, it was this, the lack of a smell, that most appealed to her, perhaps because the other American cities she knew well had all smelled distinctly.
...her relationship with him was like being content in a house but always sitting by the window and looking out.
How easy it was to lie to strangers, to create with strangers the versions of our lives that we have imagined.
She was taking two sides at once, to please everyone; she always chose peace over truth, was always eager to conform.
She rested her head against his and felt, for the first time, what she would often feel with him: a self-affection. He made her like herself. With him, she was at ease; her skin felt as though it was her right size.
She liked how he wore their relationship so boldly, like a brightly colored shirt. Sometimes she worried that she was too happy. She would sink into moodiness, and snap at Obinze, or be distant. And her joy would become a restless thing, flapping its wings inside her, as though looking for an opening to fly away.
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"A young woman from Nigeria leaves behind her home and her first love to start a new life in America, only to find her dreams are not all she expected"--

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As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are leaving the country if they can. Ifemelu - beautiful, self-assured - departs for America to study. She experiences defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships and friendships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race.

Obinze - the quiet, thoughtful son of a professor - had hoped to join her, but post 9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Years later, he is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. But when Ifemelu decides to return home, she and Obinze will face the toughest decisions of their lives.
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