Americanah

( 30 )

Overview

One of The New York Times Book Review's Ten Best Books of the Year

From the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, a dazzling new novel: a story of love and race centered around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home.

As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are leaving ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$15.40
BN.com price
(Save 42%)$26.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (33) from $9.77   
  • New (16) from $15.48   
  • Used (17) from $9.77   
Americanah

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$8.99
BN.com price
(Save 18%)$10.99 List Price

Overview

One of The New York Times Book Review's Ten Best Books of the Year

From the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, a dazzling new novel: a story of love and race centered around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home.

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 suffers 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, Obinze 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 returns to Nigeria, and she and Obinze reignite their shared passion—for their homeland and for each other—they will face the toughest decisions of their lives.
Fearless, gripping, at once darkly funny and tender, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story set in today’s globalized world: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s most powerful and astonishing novel yet.

Winner of the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
One of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of 2013

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Mike Peed
Adichie…is an extraordinarily self-aware thinker and writer, possessing the ability to lambaste society without sneering or patronizing or polemicizing. For her, it seems no great feat to balance high-literary intentions with broad social critique. 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…Americanah is witheringly trenchant and hugely empathetic, both worldly and geographically precise, a novel that holds the discomfiting realities of our times fearlessly before us. It never feels false.
The Washington Post - Emily Raboteau
What's as American as the invention of race? Self-invention. So we are reminded by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's engaging third novel…Americanah is social satire masquerading as romantic comedy. There is mocking, but not without love…beyond race, the book is about the immigrant's quest: self-invention, which is the American subject. Americanah is unique among the booming canon of immigrant literature of the last generation…Its ultimate concern isn't the challenge of becoming American or the hyphenation that requires, but the challenge of going back home.
Publishers Weekly
Adichie burst onto the literary scene in 2006 with Half of a Yellow Sun, her searing depiction of the civil war in Nigeria. Her equally compelling and important new novel follows the lives of that country’s postwar generation as they suffer endemic corruption and poverty under a military dictatorship. An unflinching but compassionate observer, Adichie writes a vibrant tale about love, betrayal, and destiny; about racism; and about a society in which honesty is extinct and cynicism is the national philosophy. She broadens her canvas to include both America and England, where she illuminates the precarious tightrope existence of culturally and racially displaced immigrants. The friendship of Ifemelu and Obinze begins in secondary school in Lagos and blossoms into love. When Ifemelu earns a scholarship to an American college, Obinze intends to join her after his university graduation, but he’s denied a U.S. visa. He manages to get to London where his plight is typical of illegal immigrants there: he uses another man’s ID so he can find menial, off-the-grid work, with the attendant loss of dignity and self-respect. The final blow comes when he’s arrested and deported home. Ifemelu, meanwhile, faces the same humiliations, indignities, and privations—first in New York, then in Philadelphia. There, attending college, she’s unable to find a job and descends to a degrading sexual act in order to pay her rent. Later she becomes a babysitter for a wealthy white family and begins writing a provocative blog on being black in America that bristles with sharp, incisive observations about racism. Ifemelu writes that the painful, expensive process of “relaxing” kinky African hair to conform to cultural expectations brings black women dangerously close to self-hatred. In time the blog earns Ifemelu fame and a fellowship to Princeton, where she has love affairs with a wealthy white man and, later, an African-American Yale professor. Her decision to return home to Nigeria (where she risks being designated as an affected “Americanah”) is the turning point of the novel’s touching love story and an illuminating portrait of a country still in political turmoil. Announced first printing of 60,000. Agent: Sarah Chalfant, the Wylie Agency. (May 17)
From the Publisher
“What’s as American as the invention of race? Self-invention. So we are reminded by Adichie’s engaging third novel . . . Adichie is uniquely positioned to compare racial hierarchies in the United States to social striving in her native Nigeria. She does so in this new work with a ruthless honesty about the ugly and beautiful sides of both nations. Americanah is social satire masquerading as romantic comedy. . . . Beyond race, the book is about the immigrant’s quest: self-invention, which is the American subject. Americanah is unique among the booming canon of immigrant literature of the last generation (including writers Junot Díaz, Jhumpa Lahiri, Gary Shteyngart, Chang-rae Lee, Dinaw Mengestu and Susan Choi). Its ultimate concern isn’t the challenge of becoming American or the hyphenation that requires, but the challenge of going back home. . . . Affecting.” —Emily Raboteau, The Washington Post
 
“Adichie’s brave, sprawling novel tackles the U.S. race complex with a directness and brio no U.S. writer of any color would risk. . . . There’s no question on this or any novel’s resolving [our] race sickness. If it’s so hard to say or do the right thing, what is to be done? [But] Americanah brings a cleansing frankness to a scab on the face of the Republic.” —John Timpane, Philadelphia Inquirer
 
“Big, moving, deeply provocative . . . A tiny pinprick in the giant balloon of hot air that has swollen around the subject of race in post-civil-rights-era America. Adichie’s finely observed new book, which combines perfectly calibrated social satire and heartfelt emotion, stands with Invisible Man and The Bluest Eye as a defining work about the experience of being black in America. More than race, Americanah is about all the ways people form their identities: what we put on and what we take off, the things we accumulate and those we discard along the way. . . . Adichie is as precise on the details of contemporary American life as Updike or Franzen . . . [Her] remarkable powers of observation drive this novel. Every detail feels relevant, because they all work as markers of what the novel calls ‘costume’: the mannerisms and affectations that we use to create an image of ourselves in the eyes of others, and even ourselves. . . . Americanah shrugs off pretense and speaks the truth about how hard it is to live a life divided, whether between two people or two countries. . . . It is rare to come upon a novel that genuinely alters one’s view of the world. For me, Americanah was one of those books, because it forced me to confront so many things that I myself have glossed over or pretended not to notice. I understand Obinze’s story, and others in this book, through the force of Adichie’s talent.” —Ruth Franklin, Bookforum
 
“[Americanah] is propelled by Adichie’s clean, attractive prose. . . . An epic love story . . . A book full of passion.” —Michael Shank, Baltimore City Paper
 
“Adichie’s new novel is part love story, part social critique, and one of the best you’ll read this year. These characters are richly drawn, as are even those who make fleeting appearances, from the ladies at Ifemelu’s braid shop to Obinze’s boss in England. . . . Adichie digs in deeply, finding a way to make them fresh.” —Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
 
“Epic . . . A near-flawless novel—one whose language beautifully captures the surreal experience of an African becoming an American . . . Americanah is both intellectually expansive and urgently intimate, a story about the crushing experience of finding your way in a new land—and the physical and emotional lengths one goes to to feel whole again. Ifemelu—smart, pretty, brutally honest, often hilariously so—will steal your heart.” —Tyrone Beason, The Seattle Times
 
“A thrilling and risky piece of writing that takes on taboos, shatters pieties, and combines forthright prose, subversive humor, and a ripping good story. . . . Americanah feels ruthlessly of this moment . . . [It] homes in on and complicates the single story of the immigrant.” —Parul Sehgal, Tin House

“Adichie is an extraordinarily self-aware thinker and writer . . . Americanah [is] a deep-seated discussion of race [that is] also a steady-handed dissection of the universal human experience. Trenchant and hugely empathetic, both worldly and geographically precise, [it] holds the realities of our times fearlessly before us, [and] never feels false.” —Mike Peed, The New York Times Book Review

“Winning . . . Adichie is a writer of copious gifts—breath[ing] life into characters whose fates absorb us. . . . Her gaze is broad enough to take in the frictions between black Americans and Africans, and among Africans themselves. . . . One of the ironies of immigration, Adichie shows, is that it leaves you a stranger in your native land, too. . . . Americanah not only makes Nigeria and Nigerians viscerally real to U.S. readers; she shows us ourselves through new eyes.” —Tom Beer, Newsday

“With this new book Adichie has scaled up, traversing three genres (romance, comedy of manners, novel of ideas) three nations, and within each, a broad swath of social spectrums. It is a book about identity, nationality, race, difference, loneliness, aspiration, and love. On top of [a] familiar narrative scaffolding, a love story, Adichie builds an altogether different tale: one about all the ways we humans fail to love each other. . . . Adichie notices nearly everything, from how we socialize to what we eat to what we say. Adichie has a keen inner ear. She is uncommonly sensitive to the space between people, the way it ripples with all kinds of invisible forces: physical beauty, economic discrepancy, sexual attraction, intellectual appraisal, guilt, resentment, envy, need. In America, she recognizes, the most potent of all the invisible strings—the strong nuclear force of our social physics—is race. Adichie’s analysis of that force is specific, damning, clarifying, and comprehensive. She is merciless about white liberal attitudes toward race, with their prevailing mix of awkward self-consciousness, contented ignorance, self-satisfaction, and submerged fear.  But she is equally caustic about everyone else’s anxious racial jostling. I found myself laughing—ruefully, from recognizing myself and my country, but also delightedly, from recognizing an echo. . . . In Americanah, Adichie is to blackness what Philip Roth is to Jewishness: its most obsessive taxonomist, its staunchest defender, and its fiercest critic.  Stories of immigrants adjusting to the United States are as central to American literature as they are to the American Dream. But Americanah [is] a new kind of migration story: a Great Global Novel.” —Kathryn Schulz, New York Magazine

“A gorgeous, sprawling book, with honed prose, striking observations, sensory details that bring its many settings to life, wry humor and fully imagined characters. It is decidedly not about any one thing. . . . Still, for all the significant subjects that Adichie tackles, Americanah’s structure is an old-fashioned, deeply satisfying one: a love story about two people who are meant to be together, but life contrives to keep apart. . . . Americanah is a bright, bold book with unforgettable swagger that proves it sometimes takes a newcomer to show Americans to ourselves.” —Jenny Shank, Dallas News

“Scintillating, funny, and heartfelt. Ifemelu, a Nigerian transplant whose 13-year tenure as a resident of the United States has come to an end, is a complex and unforgettable character. . . . A portion of the narrative is told from the perspective of Ifemelu’s first love, Obinze. The journeys of these characters, their brush-ups with race, class, politics, literature, family on three continents result in an utterly transfixing epic. . . . Among its many strengths, Americanah is superlative at making clear just how isolating it can be to live far away from home. . . . Affecting.” —Eugenia Williamson, The Boston Globe
 
“Adichie’s dazzling and thought-provoking new novel is a wonder: It begins with a Nigerian immigrant waiting to board a train from Princeton to Trenton to have her hair braided, and opens out into a much larger story that ranges over decades, continents and a multitude of social issues with breathtaking grace. . . . In a book where so much is shown to be difficult—where both wealth and poverty leave characters shackled to lives they don’t want, and the path to adulthood is fraught with betrayal, disillusionment and loss of identity—one of the great joys is the charm of Ifemelu’s romance with Obinze. . . . With great technical dexterity, Adichie weaves the love story in and out of the other stories the characters make of their lives. Multiple narratives are seamlessly intertwined, and the book moves easily from Nigeria to America and England and back again. These separate pieces feel both self-contained and in conversation with one another, most notably Ifemelu’s blog posts, [which] are by turns knowing and witty and filled with outrage, and add a surprising layer of depth by contextualizing Ifemelu’s experiences within a larger framework of the immigrant and minority experience. It is a rare pleasure to be guided through this dangerous territory by a narrator of such fierce intelligence as she deconstructs America’s rules of race and class, and exposes the kinds of constraints that often remain invisible and unacknowledged. . . . Adichie is so smart about so many things that I found myself quoting her book over the past several weeks in a wide range of conversations with friends about everything from love and family, to power and beauty and hair. She is so funny and defiant, and simultaneously so wise, that Americanah is an exhilarating, mind-expanding pleasure of a read. It is a brilliant treatise on race, class and globalization, and also a deep, clear-eyed story about love —and how it can both demand and make possible the struggle to become our most authentic selves.” —Catherine Chung, San Francisco Chronicle
 
“[The] fleeting, often romantic notion of ‘home’ is just one of many themes in Adichie’s brilliant new novel . . . While Adichie provides an exciting and emotional plot, she also holds nothing back regarding the personal struggles, questions and failings of her characters, making for an emotionally-engaging and intellectually-stimulating read. . . . Feelings of uncertainty are common for Adichie’s characters, providing great moments of reflection about race, economics, love and aging. In this way Adichie shows that the road home is never easy, and what changes most along the journey—for better or for worse—is us.” —Laura Farmer, The Gazette

Americanah is one of the freshest pieces of fiction of the year, easily on par with George Saunders’s Tenth of December, and the fact that its subject isn’t instantly recognizable does not make it any less of an engrossing, all-encompassing read. Americanah is quite explicitly a book about race and African identity, but there are many moments when it transcends these themes. Adichie’s style of writing is familiar and personal, and her depiction of the African diaspora scathingly casts many of her main characters as a particularly loathsome type of East Coast intellectual. . . . Her success comes at the level of sentences, the way she can bring a character to life on the strength of a few words . . . This book is absolutely essential.” —Drew Grant, New York Observer
 
“Adichie has written a big knockout of a novel about immigration, American dreams, the power of first love, and the shifting meanings of skin color . . . Americanah is a sweeping story that derives its power as much from Adichie’s witty and fluid writing style as it does from keen social commentary. . . . Americanah works in so many different genres—coming-of-age novel, romance, comic novel of social manners, up-to-the-minute meditation on race, as well as the aforementioned immigrant saga—that I’m shortchanging its bounty by only mentioning some of the main characters’ adventures here. Like Ifemelu’s hairdo, Adichie’s novel tightly braids together multiple ideas and storylines. It’s a marvel of skilled construction and imagination.” —Maureen Corrigan, NPR
 
“Powerful . . . If you think racism expired when President Obama was elected, this is perhaps not—or absolutely is—the book for you. [Americanah] is a story of relocation, far-flung love and life as an alien, spread across three continents. It’s also about the lonely but privileged perspective a stranger gains by entering a new culture. Ifemelu experiences America both as a black woman and as an African woman. In the U.S., those two identities combine, for experiences dark and light that Adichie skillfully renders in gray scale. . . . Adichie’s evocative power, transporting my imagination while keeping my feet firmly on the ground, has me looking forward to [her] books for years to come.” —Rosecrans Baldwin, NPR
 
“Witty, wry, and observant, Adichie is a marvelous storyteller who writes passionately about the difficulty of assimilation and the love that binds a man, a woman, and their homeland. Her work should be read by anyone clutching at the belief that we’re living in a post-racial United States.” —Sally Bissell, Library Journal (starred review)
 
“Adichie goes abroad for her new book, Americanah. The author’s fiercely clever Ifemelu follows the racial indignities she encounters as a college-educated African immigrant in the U.S. with an uneasy return to Nigeria and her old flame, Obinze, now married and wealthy yet unfulfilled. Spanning the borders and histories between these two outsiders, Adichie defines the sum of disparate cultures with new clarity, while questions of identity and love remain elusive as ever.” —Joseph Klarl, Interview
 
Americanah is Adichie’s best work. In a career devoid of blemish, with four truly terrific and diverse literary gems under her belt, that’s no small accomplishment. Ifemelu, one of the more interesting and complex female protagonists I’ve encountered in recent fiction, is a marvelous creation. . . . Though the novel is incredibly compelling, its richness and rewards are best savored slowly. It’s a big book, full of travel, considerations of heady subjects, and more, but it’s a wonderful read. Americanah is a book full of things worth waiting for, things that gradually illuminate the work and the reader’s understanding in exciting ways. . . . Like the book itself, there is no shortage of details offered, emotions evoked or thought provoked. For a book focused so thoughtfully on the black and white, it’s those ambiguous grays that end up most alluring.” —Josh Zajdman, Bookslut
 
“Adichie’s new novel takes root in the vagaries and murmured promises of a love story like much of her other work. . . . Her writing hits a nerve. [She] doesn’t hold back on criticizing [Nigeria’s] culture that fosters widespread government corruption. Or what she perceives as the excessive, neutered politeness of ‘political-correct language’ in the U.S.” —Jon Gambrell, The Philadelphia Sunday Sun/Associated Press
 
“Superb . . . Americanah is that rare thing in contemporary literary fiction: a lush, bighearted love story that also happens to be a piercingly funny social critique. . . . Adichie writes with insight. A scene in a braiding salon, which unfolds over the course of the book, has more to say about the politics of self-image than any novel in recent memory. . . . Both for Adichie and [Ifemelu], her alter ego, coming in to oneself is ultimately about coming home, and to the place that—and to the person who—understands you, no explanation required. And love remains the last great hope for solving America’s complicated relationship with race. . . . A love story for our time.” —Megan O’Grady, Vogue
 
“Glorious . . . a saga of a young couple’s efforts to escape their troubled homeland and seek their fortune abroad that bears comparison to the classical canon of the social novel. . . . Americanah  provides Adichie with a fictional vehicle for pithy, sharply sensible commentary on race and culture—and us with a symphonic, polyphonic, full-immersion opportunity to think outside the American box and commune with the wholly global sensibility of Adichie, an author who truly contains multitudes.” —Ben Dickinson, Elle
 
“Elegantly written, emotionally believable . . . A sensitive portrayal of distant love, broken affinities and culture clash . . . A fine, adult love story with locations both exotic and familiar.” —Kirkus Reviews
 
“Compelling and important . . . An unflinching but compassionate observer, Adichie writes a vibrant tale about love, betrayal, and destiny; about racism; and about a society in which honest is extinct and cynicism is the national philosophy. She broadens her canvas to include both America and England, where she illuminates the precarious tightrope existence of culturally and racially displaced immigrants. . . . [A] touching love story and an illuminating portrait of a country still in political turmoil.” —Publishers Weekly (boxed and starred review)
 
“MacArthur fellow Adichie is a word-by-word virtuoso with a sure grasp of social conundrums in Nigeria, East Coast America, and England; an omnivorous eye for resonant detail; a gift for authentic characters; pyrotechnic wit; and deep humanitarianism. Americanah is a courageous, world-class novel about independence, integrity, community, and love—and what it takes to become a ‘full human being.’” —Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)
 
“An incredibly readable and rich tapestry of Nigerian and American life, and the ways a handful of vivid characters—so vivid they feel like family—try to live in both worlds simultaneously. As she did so masterfully with Half of a Yellow Sun, Adichie paints on a grand canvas, boldly and confidently, equally adept at conveying the complicated political backdrop of Lagos as she is in bringing us into the day-to-day lives of her many new Americans—a single mom, a student, a hairdresser. This is a very funny, very warm and moving intergenerational epic that confirms Adichie’s virtuosity, boundless empathy and searing social acuity.” —Dave Eggers, author of A Hologram for the King
 
“Adichie’s great gift is that she has always brought us into the territory of the previously unexplored. She writes about that which others have kept silent. Americanah is no exception. This is not just a story that unfolds across three different continents, it is also a keenly observed examination of race, identity and belonging in the global landscapes of Africans and Americans. If Joyce had silence, exile and cunning for his defense, Adichie has flair, loss and longing. And Adichie is brave enough to allow the story to unfold with a distinct straightforward simplicity that never loses its edgy intellect.” —Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin
 
 
 
 
 

Kirkus Reviews
A sensitive portrayal of distant love, broken affinities and culture clash by Nigerian novelist Adichie (Purple Hibiscus, 2003, etc.). Absence makes the heart grow fonder, it's said--but as often it makes the heart grow forgetful. Ifemelu, beautiful and naturally aristocratic, has the good fortune to escape Nigeria during a time of military dictatorship. It is a place and a society where, as a vivacious "aunty" remarks, "[t]he problem is that there are many qualified people who are not where they are supposed to be because they won't lick anybody's ass, or they don't know which ass to lick or they don't even know how to lick an ass." Ifemelu's high school sweetheart, Obinze, is too proud for any of that; smart and scholarly, he has been denied a visa to enter post-9/11 America (says his mother, "[t]he Americans are now averse to foreign young men"), and now he is living illegally in London, delivering refrigerators and looking for a way to find his beloved. The years pass, and the world changes: In the America where Ifemelu is increasingly at home, "postracial" is a fond hope, but everyone seems just a little bewildered at how to get there, and meanwhile, Ifemelu has to leave the safe, sheltered confines of Princeton to go to Trenton if she's to get her hair done properly. The years pass, and Ifemelu is involved in the usual entanglements, making a reunion with Obinze all the more complicated. Will true love win out? Can things be fixed and contempt disarmed? All that remains to be seen, but for the moment, think of Adichie's elegantly written, emotionally believable novel as a kind of update of Terry McMillan's Waiting to Exhale. Soap-operatic in spots, but a fine adult love story with locations both exotic and familiar.
Library Journal
FIfemelu, the Nigerian expat and Princeton lecturer at the heart of this latest novel by Orange Prize winner Adichie (Half of a Yellow Sun), writes biting, dead-on blog posts taking aim at the cultural schism between non-African blacks, Africans, and everyone else. She also observes her Auntie Uju turning herself inside out to attract a man as Ifemelu's nephew silently accepts his mother's aspirations. Whether Ifemelu is writing a treatise on how to care for black hair or a scathing take on American students earning extra credit for bombast, her opinions bring her money and acknowledgment. But one day, as she is complimented on her nurtured American accent, Ifemelu senses that she has lost her way. A parallel plotline follows Obinze, the man Ifemelu left behind in Lagos, who emigrated to London and longs for a life in America with her. VERDICT Witty, wry, and observant, Adichie is a marvelous storyteller who writes passionately about the difficulty of assimilation and the love that binds a man, a woman, and their homeland. Her work should be read by anyone clutching at the belief that we're living in a post-racial United States.—Sally Bissell, Lee Cty. Lib. Syst., Estero, FL
The Barnes & Noble Review

Bitter over her failure to be taken seriously, Shan, a fictional African- American writer whom Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie places in New York, complains: "You can't write an honest novel about race in this country." Americanah is an attempt to do just that, with trenchant observations about social distinctions in not just one country, the United States, but Britain and Nigeria as well. Long: description: Bitter over her failure to be taken seriously, Shan, a fictional African- American writer whom Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie places in New York, complains: "You can't write an honest novel about race in this country." Americanah is an attempt to do just that, with trenchant observations about social distinctions in not just one country, the United States, but Britain and Nigeria as well. Adichie located her first two — award-winning — novels, Purple Hibiscus (2003) and Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), entirely within her native Nigeria. However, her third novel, set in three countries in three continents, is an affirmation of literary globalization. Like Open City (2011), which Teju Cole, who also divides his time between the United States and Nigeria, set in New York, Brussels, and Lagos, Adichie defies the glib categories of nationality. Does she belong to American literature? Nigerian? Americanah is cosmopolitan fiction that seeks universal truths in the particulars of three distinct cultures.

The novel begins in Trenton, New Jersey, in a braiding salon where Ifemelu has gone to get her hair done by African émigrées. After thirteen years in the United States, she will soon fly back to Nigeria. Though the narrative returns to the salon from time to time, much of Americanah takes the form of extended flashbacks to Ifemelu's childhood in Nigeria and her experiences in the United States. She moved to Philadelphia to study at a place called Wellson College, supporting herself through menial jobs she used a borrowed Social Security card to qualify for. After graduation, she lives with a rich white boyfriend in Baltimore and, after breaking up with him, an African-American professor in New Haven. A fellowship at Princeton brings her to the braiding salon in Trenton. The novel also recounts the experiences of Ifemelu's high school sweetheart, Obinze, as he struggles to make a living in London and avoid deportation. He fails at both but, with the help of a crooked tycoon called Chief, becomes rich and respected back in Lagos. After about 400 pages of back-story, Adichie is ready to move Ifemulu out of the hair salon and back to Lagos, where the plot turns increasingly sudsy: Though Obinze has acquired a beautiful and supportive wife and a darling daughter, he and Ifemelu are still passionately in love.

In the United States, Ifemelu becomes an Internet celebrity by writing a popular blog called Raceteenth or Various Observations About American Blacks (Those Formerly Known as Negroes) by a Non- American Black. Though its stated focus is on what it calls the four kinds of American tribalism, "class, ideology, region, and race," for Ifemelu, the first of these is race. "I did not think of myself as black," she says, "and I only became black when I came to America." As an outsider, an American African, Ifemelu — and, through her, Adichie — notices nuances in the relations between and within what the culture calls races that even African Americans take for granted. Back in Lagos, she becomes an "Americanah," a returnee who is more attentive to Nigerian mores than are friends who stayed behind. In London, Obinze experiences race differently, colored by English concern with class. At a posh party in Islington, a fellow Igbo observes, "It seemed to me that in America blacks and whites work together but don't play together, and here blacks and whites play together but don't work together."

Americanah is filled with such provocative aperçus and vivified by its awareness that not all people of African origin speak with the same voice — though all share euphoria in the election of Barack Obama. It provides white American readers the privilege of eavesdropping on the conversations of Africans, African Americans, and African Britons of a variety of backgrounds and personalities. Ifemelu's encounters with tipping ("a forced and efficient bribing system"), American football ("just overweight men jumping on top of one another"), and depression ("We don't talk about things like depression in Nigeria") defamiliarize features of the American cultural landscape. When she hears sentences such as "You shouldn't of done that. There is three things. I had a apple. A couple days. I want to lay down," a reader might conclude, with Ifemelu: "These Americans cannot speak English."

Though Ifemelu dismisses Huckleberry Finn as "unreadable nonsense," she bonds with Obinze over James Hadley Chase's thrillers. Obinze does not share her enthusiasm for Graham Greene's 1948 novel The Heart of the Matter, but she explains: "It's real literature, the kind of human story people will read in two hundred years." Not quite that kind of human story, Americanah, which might have benefited from judicious pruning, will do for the next couple of years. It provides a long and soapy immersion in distinctive lives lived here and now.

Steven G. Kellman is a professor of comparative literature at University of Texas at San Antonio, where he has taught since 1976. His most recent book is Redemption: The Life of Henry Roth (2005).

Reviewer: Steven G. Kellman

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307271082
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/14/2013
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 26,518
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grew up in Nigeria. Her work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared in various publications, including The New Yorker, Granta, The O. Henry Prize Stories, the Financial Times, and Zoetrope: All-Story. She is the author of the novels Purple Hibiscus, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Orange Prize and was a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, a New York Times Notable Book, and a People and Black Issues Book Review Best Book of the Year; and, most recently, the story collection The Thing Around Your Neck. A recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Princeton, in the summer, smelled of nothing, and although Ifemelu liked the tranquil greenness of the many trees, the clean streets and stately homes, the delicately overpriced 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. Philadelphia had the musty scent of history. New Haven smelled of neglect. Baltimore smelled of brine, and Brooklyn of sun-warmed garbage. But Princeton had no smell. She liked taking deep breaths here. She liked watching the locals who drove with pointed courtesy and parked their latest model cars outside the organic grocery store on Nassau Street or outside the sushi restaurants or outside the ice cream shop that had fifty different flavors including red pepper or outside the post office where effusive staff bounded out to greet them at the entrance. She liked the campus, grave with knowledge, the Gothic buildings with their vine-laced walls, and the way everything transformed, in the half-light of night, into a ghostly scene. She liked, most of all, that in this place of affluent ease, she could pretend to be someone else, someone specially admitted into a hallowed American club, someone adorned with certainty.
 
But she did not like that she had to go to Trenton to braid her hair. It was unreasonable to expect a braiding salon in Princeton—the few black locals she had seen were so light-skinned and lank-haired she could not imagine them wearing braids—and yet as she waited at Princeton Junction station for the train, on an afternoon ablaze with heat, she wondered why there was no place where she could braid her hair. The chocolate bar in her handbag had melted. A few other people were waiting on the platform, all of them white and lean, in short, flimsy clothes. The man standing closest to her was eating an ice cream cone; she had always found it a little irresponsible, the eating of ice cream cones by grown-up American men, especially the eating of ice cream cones by grown-up American men in public. He turned to her and said, “About time,” when the train finally creaked in, with the familiarity strangers adopt with each other after sharing in the disappointment of a public service. She smiled at him. The graying hair on the back of his head was swept forward, a comical arrangement to disguise his bald spot. He had to be an academic, but not in the humanities or he would be more self-conscious. A firm science like chemistry, maybe. Before, she would have said, “I know,” that peculiar American expression that professed agreement rather than knowledge, and then she would have started a conversation with him, to see if he would say something she could use in her blog. People were flattered to be asked about themselves and if she said nothing after they spoke, it made them say more. They were conditioned to fill silences. If they asked what she did, she would say vaguely, “I write a lifestyle blog,” because saying “I write an anonymous blog called Raceteenth or Various Observations About American Blacks (Those Formerly Known as Negroes) by a Non-American Black” would make them uncomfortable. She had said it, though, a few times. Once to a dreadlocked white man who sat next to her on the train, his hair like old twine ropes that ended in a blond fuzz, his tattered shirt worn with enough piety to convince her that he was a social warrior and might make a good guest blogger. “Race is totally overhyped these days, black people need to get over themselves, it’s all about class now, the haves and the have-nots,” he told her evenly, and she used it as the opening sentence of a post titled “Not All Dreadlocked White American Guys Are Down.” Then there was the man from Ohio, who was squeezed next to her on a flight. A middle manager, she was sure, from his boxy suit and contrast collar. He wanted to know what she meant by “lifestyle blog,” and she told him, expecting him to become reserved, or to end the conversation by saying something defensively bland like “The only race that matters is the human race.” But he said, “Ever write about adoption? Nobody wants black babies in this country, and I don’t mean biracial, I mean black. Even the black families don’t want them.”
 
He told her that he and his wife had adopted a black child and their neighbors looked at them as though they had chosen to become martyrs for a dubious cause. Her blog post about him, “Badly-Dressed White Middle Managers from Ohio Are Not Always What You Think,” had received the highest number of comments for that month. She still wondered if he had read it. She hoped so. Often, she would sit in cafés, or airports, or train stations, watching strangers, imagining their lives, and wondering which of them were likely to have read her blog. Now her ex-blog. She had written the final post only days ago, trailed by two hundred and seventy-four comments so far. All those readers, growing month by month, linking and cross-posting, knowing so much more than she did; they had always frightened and exhilarated her. SapphicDerrida, one of the most frequent posters, wrote: I’m a bit surprised by how personally I am taking this. Good luck as you pursue the unnamed “life change” but please come back to the blogosphere soon. You’ve used your irreverent, hectoring, funny and thought-provoking voice to create a space for real conversations about an important subject. Readers like SapphicDerrida, who reeled off statistics and used words like “reify” in their comments, made Ifemelu nervous, eager to be fresh and to impress, so that she began, over time, to feel like a vulture hacking into the carcasses of people’s stories for something she could use. Sometimes making fragile links to race. Sometimes not believing herself. The more she wrote, the less sure she became. Each post scraped off yet one more scale of self until she felt naked and false.
 
The ice-cream-eating man sat beside her on the train and, to discourage conversation, she stared fixedly at a brown stain near her feet, a spilled frozen Frappuccino, until they arrived at Trenton. The platform was crowded with black people, many of them fat, in short, flimsy clothes. It still startled her, what a difference a few minutes of train travel made. During her first year in America, when she took New Jersey Transit to Penn Station and then the subway to visit Aunty Uju in Flatlands, she was struck by how mostly slim white people got off at the stops in Manhattan and, as the train went further into Brooklyn, the people left were mostly black and fat. She had not thought of them as “fat,” though. She had thought of them as “big,” because one of the first things her friend Ginika told her was that “fat” in America was a bad word, heaving with moral judgment like “stupid” or “bastard,” and not a mere description like “short” or “tall.” So she had banished “fat” from her vocabulary. But “fat” came back to her last winter, after almost thirteen years, when a man in line behind her at the supermarket muttered, “Fat people don’t need to be eating that shit,” as she paid for her giant bag of Tostitos. She glanced at him, surprised, mildly offended, and thought it a perfect blog post, how this stranger had decided she was fat. She would file the post under the tag “race, gender and body size.” But back home, as she stood and faced the mirror’s truth, she realized that she had ignored, for too long, the new tightness of her clothes, the rubbing together of her inner thighs, the softer, rounder parts of her that shook when she moved. She was fat.
 
She said the word “fat” slowly, funneling it back and forward, and thought about all the other things she had learned not to say aloud in America. She was fat. She was not curvy or big-boned; she was fat, it was the only word that felt true. And she had ignored, too, the cement in her soul. Her blog was doing well, with thousands of unique visitors each month, and she was earning good speaking fees, and she had a fellowship at Princeton and a relationship with Blaine—“You are the absolute love of my life,” he’d written in her last birthday card—and yet there was cement in her soul. It had been there for a while, an early morning disease of fatigue, a bleakness and borderlessness. It brought with it amorphous longings, shapeless desires, brief imaginary glints of other lives she could be living, that over the months melded into a piercing homesickness. She scoured Nigerian websites, Nigerian profiles on Facebook, Nigerian blogs, and each click brought yet another story of a young person who had recently moved back home, clothed in American or British degrees, to start an investment company, a music production business, a fashion label, a magazine, a fast-food franchise. She looked at photographs of these men and women and felt the dull ache of loss, as though they had prised open her hand and taken something of hers. They were living her life. Nigeria became where she was supposed to be, the only place she could sink her roots in without the constant urge to tug them out and shake off the soil. And, of course, there was also Obinze. Her first love, her first lover, the only person with whom she had never felt the need to explain herself. He was now a husband and father, and they had not been in touch in years, yet she could not pretend that he was not a part of her homesickness, or that she did not often think of him, sifting through their past, looking for portents of what she could not name.
The rude stranger in the supermarket—who knew what problems he was wrestling with, haggard and thin-lipped as he was—had intended to offend her but had instead prodded her awake.
 
She began to plan and to dream, to apply for jobs in Lagos. She did not tell Blaine at first, because she wanted to finish her fellowship at Princeton, and then after her fellowship ended, she did not tell him because she wanted to give herself time to be sure. But as the weeks passed, she knew she would never be sure. So she told him that she was moving back home, and she added, “I have to,” knowing he would hear in her words the sound of an ending.
 
“Why?” Blaine asked, almost automatically, stunned by her announcement. There they were, in his living room in New Haven, awash in soft jazz and daylight, and she looked at him, her good, bewildered man, and felt the day take on a sad, epic quality. They had lived together for three years, three years free of crease, like a smoothly ironed sheet, until their only fight, months ago, when Blaine’s eyes froze with blame and he refused to speak to her. But they had survived that fight, mostly because of Barack Obama, bonding anew over their shared passion. On election night, before Blaine kissed her, his face wet with tears, he held her tightly as though Obama’s victory was also their personal victory. And now here she was telling him it was over.
“Why?” he asked. He taught ideas of nuance and complexity in his classes and yet he was asking her for a single reason, the cause. But she had not had a bold epiphany and there was no cause; it was simply that layer after layer of discontent had settled in her, and formed a mass that now propelled her. She did not tell him this, because it would hurt him to know she had felt that way for a while, that her relationship with him was like being content in a house but always sitting by the window and looking out.
 
“Take the plant,” he said to her, on the last day she saw him, when she was packing the clothes she kept in his apartment. He looked defeated, standing slump-shouldered in the kitchen. It was his houseplant, hopeful green leaves rising from three bamboo stems, and when she took it, a sudden crushing loneliness lanced through her and stayed with her for weeks. Sometimes, she still felt it. How was it possible to miss something you no longer wanted? Blaine needed what she was unable to give and she needed what he was unable to give, and she grieved this, the loss of what could have been.

Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

1. The first part of Ifemelu’s story is told in flashback while she is having her hair braided at a salon before she returns to Nigeria. Why might Adichie have chosen this structure for storytelling? What happens when the narrator shifts to Obinze’s story? How conscious are you as a reader about the switches in narrative perspective?

2. The novel opens in the Ivy League enclave of Princeton, New Jersey. Ifemelu likes living there because “she could pretend to be someone else, . . . someone adorned with certainty” (3). But she has to go to the largely black city of Trenton, nearby, to have her hair braided. Does this movement between cities indicate a similar split within Ifemelu? Why does she decide to return to Nigeria after thirteen years in America?

3. How much does your own race affect the experience of reading this or any novel? Does race affect a reader’s ability to identify or empathize with the struggles of Ifemelu and Obinze? Ifemelu writes in her blog that “black people are not supposed to be angry about racism” because their anger makes whites uncomfortable (223). Do you agree?

4. Aunty Uju’s relationship with the General serves as an example of one mode of economic survival for a single woman: she attaches herself to a married man who supports her in return for sexual access. But Uju runs into a serious problem when the General dies and political power shifts. Why, given what you learn of Uju’s intelligence and capabilities later, do you think she chose to engage in this relationship with the General instead of remaining independent?

5. Ifemelu feels that Aunty Uju is too eager to capitulate to the demands of fitting in. Uju says, “You are in a country that is not your own. You do what you have to do if you want to succeed” (120). Is Uju right in compromising her own identity to a certain extent? How is Dike affected by his mother’s struggles?

6. In the clothing shop she visits with her friend Ginika, Ifemelu notices that the clerk, when asking which of the salespeople helped her, won’t say, “Was it the black girl or the white girl?” because that would be considered a racist way to identify people. “You’re supposed to pretend that you don’t notice certain things,” Ginika tells her (128). In your opinion and experience, is this a good example of American political correctness about race? Why does Ifemelu find it curious? Do you think these attitudes differ across the United States?

7. For a time, Ifemelu is a babysitter for Kimberly, a white woman who works for a charity in Africa. Adichie writes that “for a moment Ifemelu was sorry to have come from Africa, to be the reason that this beautiful woman, with her bleached teeth and bounteous hair, would have to dig deep to feel such pity, such hopelessness. She smiled brightly, hoping to make Kimberly feel better” (152). How well does Kimberly exemplify the liberal guilt that many white Americans feel toward Africa and Africans?

8. Ifemelu’s experience with the tennis coach is a low point in her life. Why does she avoid being in touch with Obinze afterward (157–58)? Why doesn’t she read his letters? How do you interpret her behavior?

9. In her effort to feel less like an outsider, Ifemelu begins faking an American accent. She feels triumphant when she can do it, and then feels ashamed and resolves to stop (175). Which aspects of her becoming an American are most difficult for Ifemelu as she struggles to figure out how much she will give up of her Nigerian self?

10. Ifemelu realizes that naturally kinky hair is a subject worth blogging about. She notices that Michelle Obama and Beyoncé never appear in public with natural hair. Why not? “Because, you see, it’s not professional, sophisticated, whatever, it’s just not damn normal” (299). Read the blog post “A Michelle Obama Shout-Out Plus Hair as Race Metaphor” (299–300), and discuss why hair is a useful way of examining race and culture.

11. What does Ifemelu find satisfying about her relationships with Curt and Blaine? Why does she, eventually, abandon each relationship? Is it possible that she needs to be with someone Nigerian, or does she simply need to be with Obinze?

12. Ifemelu’s blog is a venue for expressing her experience as an African immigrant and for provoking a conversation about race and migration. She says, “I discovered race in America and it fascinated me” (406). She asks, “How many other people had become black in America?” (298). Why is the blog so successful? Are there any real-life examples that you know of similar to this?

13. Obinze goes to London, and when his visa expires he is reduced to cleaning toilets (238); eventually he is deported. On his return home, “a new sadness blanketed him, the sadness of his coming days, when he would feel the world slightly off-kilter, his vision unfocused” (286). How does his experience in London affect the decisions he makes when he gets back to Lagos? Why does he marry Kosi? How do these choices and feelings compare to Ifemelu’s?

14. While she is involved with Curt, Ifemelu sleeps with a younger man in her building, out of curiosity. “There was something wrong with her. She did not know what it was but there was something wrong with her. A hunger, a restlessness. An incomplete knowledge of herself. The sense of something farther away, beyond her reach” (291–92). Is this a common feeling among young women in a universal sense, or is there something more significant in Ifemelu’s restlessness? What makes hers particular, if you feel it is?

15. When reading Obinze’s conversations with Ojiugo, his now-wealthy friend who has married an EU citizen, did you get the sense that those who emigrate lose something of themselves when they enter the competitive struggle in their new culture (Chapter 24), or is it more of a struggle to maintain that former self? Does Adichie suggest that this is a necessary sacrifice? Are all of the characters who leave Nigeria (such as Emenike, Aunty Uju, Bartholomew, and Ginika) similarly compromised?

16. Aunty Uju becomes a doctor in America but still feels the need to seek security through an alliance with Bartholomew, whom she doesn’t seem to love. Why might this be? How well does she understand what her son, Dike, is experiencing as a displaced, fatherless teenager? Why might Dike have attempted suicide?

17. Is the United States presented in generally positive or generally negative ways in Americanah?

18. The term “Americanah” is used for Nigerians who have been changed by having lived in America. Like those in the novel’s Nigerpolitan Club, they have become critical of their native land and culture: “They were sanctified, the returnees, back home with an extra gleaming layer” (408). Is the book’s title meant as a criticism of Ifemelu, or simply an accurate word for what she fears she will become (and others may think of her)?

19. How would you describe the qualities that Ifemelu and Obinze admire in each other? How does Adichie sustain the suspense about whether Ifemelu and Obinze will be together until the very last page? What, other than narrative suspense, might be the reason for Adichie’s choice in doing so? Would you consider their union the true homecoming, for both of them?

20. Why is it important to have the perspective of an African writer on race in America? How does reading the story make you more alert to race, and to the cultural identifications within races and mixed races? Did this novel enlarge your own perspective, and if so, how?

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(20)

4 Star

(8)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2013

    I loved this book! It was an interesting take on the experiences

    I loved this book! It was an interesting take on the experiences of African immigrants in the US and England regarding race and class distinctions. The love story was left without closure for me but hopefully that's left for the next book! Overall a great read, definitely worth getting. 

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 30, 2013

    As a white in rural America, I have had limited personal experie

    As a white in rural America, I have had limited personal experience with blacks except in traveling. But I have tried to understand the issues of race relations and cultural divides within our country and our world and seek ways to build bridges between the races. I have read lots of books from the perspective of other cultures, but this is the first I've read by a non-American black in America. I was amazed at the differences she noted between the Nigerian culture and the US culture in terms of how she felt as a black person. It is a work of fiction but the experiences she relates within this work are experiences she actually had to deal with when she came to America initially. Very fascinating!!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    Very interesting book, lots of "blog" about race in Am

    Very interesting book, lots of "blog" about race in America which was a bit much for me bur I Love that it is a true portal of life aboard for
    people from third world country and the struggle for the one raise abroad and they crisis they deal with.
    Hard to put down. Thanks Ms Adichie

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 8, 2013

    Great read

    Chance to look at race and white privilege and immigration from a different perspective.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2013

    This was a great read. As a middle-classed African American who

    This was a great read. As a middle-classed African American who works and lives in mainstream America, there were so many things I could identify with. I picked up a few things I can use in racial debates too.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 12, 2013

    Great book!! I fell in love with the modernism of the Ife's char

    Great book!! I fell in love with the modernism of the Ife's character at the beginning. It was like getting to know a new friend. Reading the pseudo blog post from Raceteenth gave the story a very personalized effect. You began to believe that Ife is not a figment of Adichie's imagination. There were times throughout the reading I found myself irritated with her choices and that made me appreciate her multi dimensional personality. Hoping for a sequel. Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie has a new reader, anxious to read her past and future works, Im sure I won't be disappointed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2014

    Wow! Couldn't put it down!

    I received this in the mail just before leaving for England; it was a compelling read and opened my eyes to an experience with race that I can only imagine. Her voice will continue you be an important one as we are bombarded with the current suffering in Nigeria; she was one of the "lucky ones". A cross cultural exchange in a book club would have a great appeal to me. I an going to read her other works now.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 24, 2014

    I am A 62 year old white guy...born and raised in America. My in

    I am A 62 year old white guy...born and raised in America. My inclination as it comes to race is to keep my mouth shut. What do I know of anyone else's experience. This book tells me of another's experience. And, how eye opening it is! 
    We live on a planet where anything is possible. What a joy it's been to read of all those possibilities and viewpoints. I loved this book for it's expansive teaching. I've learned a lot. I've learned, though, to keep my mouth shut....for I'm still not in a position to contribute. All I can say is, read this book and learn.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 21, 2014

    wonderful book

    very interesting story that expands your understanding of some very complicated issues.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2013

    This is the first book I have read by this author. Oh my gosh! L

    This is the first book I have read by this author. Oh my gosh! Loved it! Loved it! Loved it! It was a page turner. I read this book in one day my entire day off! could not put it down. The end was left to your imagination but I am hoping for a sequel. I like the fact that Ifem never did contact her hairdresser's boyfriend because of an emergency. The author could have easily addressed it but left it open which was a smart strategy because in reality that is exactly what would have happened. The negative. . too many blogs at the end of the book. I was wondering if the author had to submit a certain among of pages. Great book, well written a must have. (postedby Guyrn2)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2013

    I've read 3 of Chimamanda's books and frankly I didn't think I c

    I've read 3 of Chimamanda's books and frankly I didn't think I could be more impressed with the author than I already am. Well " Americanah" proved me wrong. It is an exceptional book. It feels like you are in the story and actually feel Ifem's experiences. I'm an non-American black myself and her references just hit home. I absolutely would recommend this book to all. It opens your eyes to so much issues we all choose to ignore just to be safe. I loved it!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2014

    Though this is not as masterful as Half the Yellow Sun, it is st

    Though this is not as masterful as Half the Yellow Sun, it is still a book with a large, sweeping vista of landscapes and characters as Adichie follows her usually outspoken heroine from Nigeria to the United States and back again. Adichie seems to be at her best when writing conversations of groups of people; though mostly auditory in her descriptions, she creates vivid pictures for her readers. This may be an important book for many readers, as it may open up some blunt discussions of race. Highly recommended.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2014

    Amazing Book

    I would recommend this book to everyone. It is such a great book and she is such an amazing author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2014

    Excellent anecdotes, rushed ending

    I loved the anecdotes about modern race issues in America, and the author's voice is addicting. However, I felt the ending was rushed and came together too easily for the journey the character has been on. This definitely isn't a page turner, but worth the time investment. I laughed out loud many times. Thank you Chimamanda for opening my eyes!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderful Book!  Along with that Hector's Juice!

    Wonderful Book!  Along with that Hector's Juice!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)