A haunting story of love and war from the best-selling author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists.
With effortless grace, celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie illuminates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s. We experience this tumultuous decade alongside five unforgettable characters: Ugwu, a thirteen-year-old houseboy who works for Odenigbo, a university professor full of revolutionary zeal; Olanna, the professor’s beautiful young mistress who has abandoned her life in Lagos for a dusty town and her lover’s charm; and Richard, a shy young Englishman infatuated with Olanna’s willful twin sister Kainene.
Half of a Yellow Sun is a tremendously evocative novel of the promise, hope, and disappointment of the Biafran war.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Before writing Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie explored Nigeria’s postcolonial history in this gripping novel. As the book’s interconnected characters bear witness to the ethnic and intellectual disputes that lead to the African country’s 1967 civil war, Adichie offers suspenseful glimpses into their grim future. Who can survive when hope and poetry become as scarce—and as valuable—as salt? Half of a Yellow Sun uses vivid scenarios to chart the devastating cost of the world’s apathy toward the conflict. We’re still haunted by the image of a bride who can’t stop eating her wedding cake even after bombs have destroyed the celebration.
When the Igbo people of eastern Nigeria seceded in 1967 to form the independent nation of Biafra, a bloody, crippling three-year civil war followed. That period in African history is captured with haunting intimacy in this artful page-turner from Nigerian novelist Adichie (Purple Hibiscus). Adichie tells her profoundly gripping story primarily through the eyes and lives of Ugwu, a 13-year-old peasant houseboy who survives conscription into the raggedy Biafran army, and twin sisters Olanna and Kainene, who are from a wealthy and well-connected family. Tumultuous politics power the plot, and several sections are harrowing, particularly passages depicting the savage butchering of Olanna and Kainene's relatives. But this dramatic, intelligent epic has its lush and sultry side as well: rebellious Olanna is the mistress of Odenigbo, a university professor brimming with anticolonial zeal; business-minded Kainene takes as her lover fair-haired, blue-eyed Richard, a British expatriate come to Nigeria to write a book about Igbo-Ukwu art and whose relationship with Kainene nearly ruptures when he spends one drunken night with Olanna. This is a transcendent novel of many descriptive triumphs, most notably its depiction of the impact of war's brutalities on peasants and intellectuals alike. It's a searing history lesson in fictional form, intensely evocative and immensely absorbing.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I could not put this book down
This was the first book I ever read by this author. After this book I tracked down her other books and read them all. She’s such a talented writer. This has got to be one of my favorite fictional books. I know so many people that can relate to this story & I see glimpses of real life people & situations. Wonderful writing great book.
Not a novel but a gift to the world
A must read
Half of a yellow sun
Just one word. Amazing