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Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
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Americanah (edition 2014)

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Author)

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5,6452511,371 (4.18)493
"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"--
Member:mrschacon
Title:Americanah
Authors:Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Author)
Info:Anchor (2014), 588 pages
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Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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» See also 493 mentions

English (233)  French (3)  Dutch (3)  Spanish (3)  Finnish (2)  Swedish (2)  Norwegian (2)  Piratical (1)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (251)
Showing 1-5 of 233 (next | show all)
1 ( )
  ejmw | Aug 4, 2021 |
Outstanding but the last 50 pages were a tad disappointing, otherwise pretty close to perfect. Sorry I am so late to this party. She is a beautiful writer. ( )
  scoene | Jul 13, 2021 |
Adichie writes a compelling novel about the immigrant experiences of a couple of Nigerian high school sweethearts, who flee a repressive military government. Ifemelu moves to the United States, where her Aunt and young cousin live. She struggles mightily to find work and her identity, eventually finding both, emerging as a popular blogger on racial issues. Her blogs are the highlight of the book, raising important social issues about America. Meanwhile, Obinze (nicknamed Ceiling, which is a cute story) moves to England, where he too is unwelcome, forced into menial jobs until he is reported/deported. They drift apart, mostly because of Ifemelu's inability to disclose/discuss her experiences, a wholesale change from their prior tell-all relationship. In both countries, there is tension between integrating with locals and fellow Nigerians.

Both return to a changed Nigeria, as strangers, with Obinze now a successful real estate owner. Eventually, they meet and have many obstacles to overcome, including Obinze's marriage and daughter. I thought the book dragged in the first third, after a good beginning, but then found it much more engaging. ( )
  skipstern | Jul 11, 2021 |
This is a book that I wanted to last forever. An interesting read. It was a bit slow at times, for me the parts where her boyfriends in America were in the picture.
I liked the story, the highschool sweethearts that end up in different countries, trying to get away from a violent regime. The blog parts were just awesome to read. Sharp, funny, with irony and humor.

A very interesting thing, to be not 'black' in Africa and turn 'black when you arrive in another country like America. This made me look at things differently: when people arrive here (not specifically meaning African black people, but also people form India, Turkey, Morocco and so on), they must feel the same.
A society made by white people, when you try to fit in, you'll always stand out, no matter how good you speak the language. Your looks will probably betray you in the first place.
As a language-person myself I sometimes find myself thinking that this person (with a foreign sounding last name) speaks Dutch very well. Completely ignoring the fact that they might have been born here....

The piece where electricity outages were mentioned triggered a memory of me, being very relieved that the power was back on, so I could continue manually doing the laundry (while living abroad).

And the book as a whole, about trying to find a place in your new country was recognition.

The fact that it made me realize that I am also thinking thoughts that may classify as racist, was a shock. The fact that this book really got me thinking about it, is great, because it made me more aware. I'm not an activist, I won't say 'I understand' (because I obviously don't), but I am much more aware. And that is a start. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Jul 5, 2021 |
I finally got around to reading this after a library patron/now friend was insistent I read this, and since I send her home with loads of books to read, I realized I ought to at least reciprocate a little. I also decided to sign up for the Audible trial to snag a copy so I could listen on a road trip, and I was quite happy with the reader, Adjoa Andoh. I loved her distinct voicing for the different characters (and was especially tickled by her interpretation of the white characters)--I wonder if I would have sustained momentum if it wasn't for Andoh's delivery.

I was mostly drawn to Ifemelu's story. I related so much to her romantic relationships, as a woman as well as when it came to interracial/cross-cultural woes. I loved her discussions on race and looked forward to her blog posts sprinkled throughout. Book-within-a-book (and the like) devices don't usually work for me, but I couldn't get enough of this.

Obinze's story seemed to disrupt the flow of the novel. It seemed Ifem's story was the primary focus of the novel, and Obinze's--while offering a few interesting social commentary insights in its own right--seemed secondary but long enough to take me out of the flow. Would this have been a stronger book if it had kept to one POV? Ifemelu's character also seemed to be the one with the most depth...the rest felt rather flat, but rarely a detriment to the overall novel.

In the end, I really enjoyed this, and gratefully so. It is the third Adichie I've read--I feel like I'm an outsider in that I'm lukewarm about her writing, which is why I put off reading this novel for so long. This convinces me to keep with her. ( )
  LibroLindsay | Jun 18, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 233 (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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