WINNER 2013 – National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
FINALIST 2014 – Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction
FINALIST 2014 – Andrew Carnegie Medal for Fiction
LONGLISTED 2015 – International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
In this witty, warm-hearted novel, a Nigerian woman studying in America confronts issues of race and identity—and an emotional return to a country that doesn’t feel like home.
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I love the way she writes and plays around with words.
Americanah - Spectacular
This book is amazing. Good read. Took me a while to actually read it, but once I got to the 2nd section there was no stopping.
A book everyone should read
Any book that makes you double tap words to get the definition is worth spending time on. This book, is worth spending time on...