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Half of a Yellow Sun (2006)

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,0142811,339 (4.15)1 / 1228
The sweeping new novel from the author of Purple Hibiscus.This sweeping new novel from the author of Purple Hibiscus is set in Nigeria in the 1960s, at the time of a vicious civil war in which a million people died, and thousands were massacred in cold blood.The three main characters in the novel get swept up in the violence during these turbulent years. One is a young boy from a poor village who is employed at a university lecturer's house. The other is a young middle-class woman, Olanna, who has to confront the reality of the massacre of her relatives. And the other is a white man, a writer who lives in Nigeria for no clear reason, and who falls in love with Olanna's sister, a remote and enigmatic character.As these people's lives intersect, they have to question their own responses to the unfolding political events. This extraordinary novel is about Africa in a wider sense: about moral responsibility, about the end of colonialism, about ethnic and tribal allegiances, about class and race; and the ways in which love can complicate all of these things.Chimanda Ngozi Adichie's first novel, Purple Hibiscus, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2004.… (more)
  1. 90
    Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (mrstreme)
  2. 40
    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. 20
    There Was A Country: A Personal History of Biafra by Chinua Achebe (chazzard)
  5. 20
    Never Again (Africa Women Writers Series) by Flora Nwapa (goddesspt2)
    goddesspt2: Cited by Adichie in her Author's Note.
  6. 10
    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.
  7. 10
    Ancestor Stones by Aminatta Forna (cbl_tn)
  8. 10
    Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese (Iudita)
  9. 21
    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)
  10. 10
    Sunset at Dawn by Vincent Chukwuemeka Ike (goddesspt2)
    goddesspt2: A novel about the Biafra war. Cited by Adichie in her Author's Note.
  11. 00
    The Baobabs of Tete and Other Stories by Kari Dako (WorldreaderBCN)
  12. 00
    The Ghost of Sani Abacha by Chuma Nwokolo (WorldreaderBCN)
  13. 00
    Graceland by Chris Abani (wandering_star)
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» See also 1228 mentions

English (254)  Finnish (4)  Danish (4)  Italian (4)  Swedish (4)  Catalan (2)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  Spanish (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (278)
Showing 1-5 of 254 (next | show all)
Haunting novel of the Biafran civil war. ( )
  brakketh | May 1, 2022 |
This is an important book, because it clarifies for the whole world how the Igbu people in Biafra experience their war for independence. It shows the cruelty and the lack of respect with which the British and Americans terrorized the Biafrans.
On the other hand the characters were stereotypical; a good understanding white man, a beautiful and capable black woman, hard working and hard drinking but privileged activist, friends in high places, etc.
Too much focus on sex damaged the force of the message of the book. Yes, during wars people get into the same stupid stuff they get into in peace time and it should be talked about, but not in excess.
I gave this book three stars.
( )
  Marietje.Halbertsma | Jan 9, 2022 |
Not usually my sort of thing but very good.

I found some of the characters difficult to connect to but enjoyed the subject matter very much. ( )
  Sunyidean | Sep 7, 2021 |
This was the story of the birth and short-lived country of Biafra told through the lives of five main characters. The title was derived from the emblem of a half-sun on the country of Biafra's flag. This novel had a bit of a slow start, but for the most part was an evocative read. The last part was a bit shocking and disappointing--not the book--the real history. 433 pages .This won the Orange Prize in 2007; now called The Women's Prize for Fiction. ( )
  Tess_W | Sep 5, 2021 |
Peter Fleischer book group, Lisa Kaufman rave
  wordloversf | Aug 14, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 254 (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 (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngoziprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Andoh, AdjoaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Miles, RobinNarratorsecondary 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.
The Book: The World Was Silent When We Died
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The sweeping new novel from the author of Purple Hibiscus.This sweeping new novel from the author of Purple Hibiscus is set in Nigeria in the 1960s, at the time of a vicious civil war in which a million people died, and thousands were massacred in cold blood.The three main characters in the novel get swept up in the violence during these turbulent years. One is a young boy from a poor village who is employed at a university lecturer's house. The other is a young middle-class woman, Olanna, who has to confront the reality of the massacre of her relatives. And the other is a white man, a writer who lives in Nigeria for no clear reason, and who falls in love with Olanna's sister, a remote and enigmatic character.As these people's lives intersect, they have to question their own responses to the unfolding political events. This extraordinary novel is about Africa in a wider sense: about moral responsibility, about the end of colonialism, about ethnic and tribal allegiances, about class and race; and the ways in which love can complicate all of these things.Chimanda Ngozi Adichie's first novel, Purple Hibiscus, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2004.

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