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Americanah

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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6,7182821,225 (4.18)525
"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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» See also 525 mentions

English (259)  Dutch (3)  Spanish (3)  French (3)  Finnish (2)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (2)  Catalan (2)  Italian (2)  Piratical (1)  All languages (279)
Showing 1-5 of 259 (next | show all)
Some good nuggets here and there, sort of funny, but so much other stuff to read, less than half way through, I'm done. Maybe I will try here earlier works if they are shorter. ( )
  bobunwired | Nov 19, 2022 |
“I came from a country where race was not an issue; I did not think of myself as black and I only became black when I came to America.”

This book is a combination of coming of age, romance, migration, and social commentary on race. Ifemelu and Obinze grow up in Nigeria. They become childhood sweethearts and each other’s first love. Ifemelu moves to the US and finds herself subject to American racial prejudices she had never before encountered. She feels pressured to conform to American norms. She endures traumatic experiences, eventually graduates from college, and starts a blog addressing racial issues from the viewpoint of a non-American black.

Obinze moves to England. He overstays his temporary visa and is deported. Each carries a torch for the other, though they do not remain in close contact. Nigerians have their own issues with those returning from abroad, and do not appreciate their air of superiority and complaints about their home country.

Though I would classify Ifemelu as the primary protagonist, the book is told in shifting perspectives between Ifemelu and Obinze. The writing is strong. Ifemelu is a woman who speaks her mind, and her social commentary on race is thought-provoking. Adichie employs humor and wit in addition to examining serious topics. It would have worked better for me without the recurring romance angle. I was puzzled by the ending – it seemed the characters should have reached a higher level of maturity based on their experiences.
( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
Blew me away. Safe to say I have finally found my favourite writer. So relatable to an immigrant, a person of colour, a woman. everything in this book is love. ( )
  Joannerdrgs | Sep 22, 2022 |
I loved every sentence of this book! ( )
  SarahMac314 | Aug 12, 2022 |
“Academics were not intellectuals; they were not curious, they built their stolid tents of specialized knowledge and stayed securely in them.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah

My review will not be as long as the book. LOL. I did enjoy Americanah.

I read through some reviews and this seems to be a love it or hate it type of book. For me, I am in between. I liked it and think of it as a solid 4 star read. I did not love it to distraction though nor did I hate it. My feelings about it are more shades of gray.

Things I liked:

I loved reading about Ifemelu and Obinz. I found both their stories to be compelling and at no point did I want to put the book down..and that is saying something because it is a pretty big book!

I found the story to be compelling and sad and very haunting in some aspects. It was written so very well and a rich tapestry of characters were woven. And it is a great book to talk about. There are books that once you finish you do not think about again and this was not one of those.

What I did not like so much:

I think it could have been shortened just a tad. There were times it got a bit much and several times I thought it was about to end when it wasn't.

I kind of got sick of all the blog postings as well. Not at first and not all of them but I will admit, as the book went on I had to skim some of the blog postings. I have spoken to people about this book who did the same thing.

I found the main character to be a little..dare I say it..judgmental .I mean after awhile, as an American, reading about her ruminations on American culture, I did say to myself "it sounds like she hates all of us". I realize that is not the case but I really had to fight hard against my own judgments. But then again I guess that is what a good book makes you do.

So in closing..this was a really good book and I am glad I read it but I would not count it among my favorites. ( )
  Thebeautifulsea | Aug 4, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 259 (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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Dedication
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.
Quotations
...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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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Book description
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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