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Americanah [Deckle Edge] [Hardcover]

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 14 2013
A searing new novel, at once sweeping and intimate, by the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun: a story of love and race centered around a man and woman from Nigeria who seemed destined to be together--until the choices they are forced to make tear them apart.

Ifemelu--beautiful, self-assured--left Nigeria 15 years ago, and now studies in Princeton as a Graduate Fellow. She seems to have fulfilled every immigrant's dream: Ivy League education; success as a writer of a wildly popular political blog; money for the things she needs. But what came before is more like a nightmare: wrenching departure from family; humiliating jobs under a false name. She feels for the first time the weight of something she didn't think about back home: race.

Obinze--handsome and kind-hearted--was Ifemelu's teenage love; he'd hoped to join her in America, but post 9/11 America wouldn't let him in. Obinze's journey leads him to back alleys of illegal employment in London; to a fake marriage for the sake of a work card, and finally, to a set of handcuffs as he is exposed and deported.

Years later, when they reunite in Nigeria, neither is the same person who left home. Obinze is the kind of successful "Big Man" he'd scorned in his youth, and Ifemelu has become an "Americanah"--a different version of her former self, one with a new accent and attitude. As they revisit their shared passion--for their homeland and for each other--they must face the largest challenges of their lives.

Spanning three continents, entering the lives of a richly drawn cast of characters across numerous divides, Americanah is a riveting story of love and expectation set in today's globalized world.

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Review

INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
NATIONAL BESTSELLER
WINNER 2013 – National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
FINALIST 2014 – Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction
FINALIST 2014 – Andrew Carnegie Medal for Fiction

 “Americanah is most memorable for its fine-tuned, scathing observations about worldly Nigerians and the ways they create new identities out of pretension and aspiration…. Adichie displays much keen critical intelligence about how we can unwittingly betray our truest selves.”
—Janet Maslin, The New York Times Book Review
 
“Masterful.... An expansive, epic love story set in three countries, Adichie’s fourth book pulls no punches with regard to race, class, and the high-risk, heart-tearing struggle for belonging in a fractured world.”
O, The Oprah Magazine
 
“Superb…. A lush, big-hearted love story that also happens to be a piercingly funny social critique.”
Vogue
 
“‘You can’t write an honest novel about race in this country,’ comments a character towards the end of Americanah. It’s a slyly self-referential joke since, with her ambitious third novel, prize-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie sets out to prove otherwise, placing race squarely, unapologetically and entertainingly centre-stage…Written with flair and warmth, this impressively poised novel makes the most of Adichie’s sense of wry detachment as an outsider without losing an affectionate humour for both her native Nigeria and adopted country.”
Daily Mail 
 
“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
 
“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…. [A] touching love story and an illuminating portrait of a country still in political turmoil.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)
 

About the Author

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's work has appeared in various publications, including The New Yorker, Granta and Zoetrope. She is the author of The Thing Around Your Neck and of 2 novels, Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Orange Prize and was a NBCC Finalist. A recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Dit
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a non-Black woman, I found a black woman's perspective on social interactions illuminating. It has changed my understanding of such interactions. I have been encouraging many friends to read this book. Edith
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down!!! Feb. 8 2014
By snowboy
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Adichie knocks it out of the park again with this wonderful story about a woman's journey from Nigeria to the US and back again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some highs and some lows Sept. 22 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a fan of Adichie's work and looked forward to reading Americanah. To say I was disappointed with this work is not entirely true. The strength in this novel is found in the blog pieces that the main character writes about race and racism. As a non-American black she presents an interesting perspective. The weakness in this novel for me was in the depiction of an illegal immigrant's experiences in Britain which seemed to drag on forever. Watch the movie "dirtyprettythings" instead.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 5 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Amazing book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars So True June 12 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lovely portrayal of the African immigrant's experience in America .... It's relatable and captivating, overall an excellent read nicely done!
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