A Novel

Book - 2013
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"A young woman from Nigeria leaves behind her home and her first love to start a new life in America, only to find her dreams are not all she expected"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2013
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780307271082
Characteristics: 477 pages ; 25 cm


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Apr 01, 2021

I read this at about the same time as her earlier Half A Yellow Sun which I much preferred. The same great writing style came through, but with Half which took place in Nigeria, I felt she was on more familiar ground. I think the characters were also developed more sympathetically and in more depth.
In Americanah, I never quite understood why she moved through the three romantic relationships she had, and the last one when she returned to her first lover, thereby ending his marriage did not seem realistic and, perhaps the moralist in me, unfortunate.
I might have been spoiled with Half b/c she is a great writer and this one is good, but if there is a choice I would go for Half A Yellow SUn.

Feb 09, 2021

I really enjoyed the first 2/3 of the book, but then felt like I was slogging through, forcing myself to finish because everyone thought this book was so great. I wanted to think it was great too. I felt so awful for Ifemelu when she was struggling to find work, and was forced to do something shameful to pay her rent, but overall she wasn't very likeable, so it was hard to root for her.

I found the blog entries and dinner conversations involving race and microaggressions very interesting, though they seemed a little didactic. I read an interview in which the author said she wrote this to be a funny book, and laughed a lot while writing it, but I found it mostly sad. There were a lot of unhappy people in it, and a lot of people who were "settling".

Chapel_Hill_KrystalB Dec 18, 2020

This audiobook was a serendipitous find on NC Digital Library. I checked out the print version some years ago, but it was still at the height of its popularity with a looong waitlist. No way I can get through a nearly 500-pager in two weeks. Glad this was my path, though, because I enjoyed listening to it- even if some of the narrator's voices were appropriately grating. But the novel itself… so epic, a story that examines race and identity as they relate to place and class through a diversity of experiences across three countries. And on top of that, a realistic love story at its center. Solid.

Oct 15, 2020

A fun read

Sep 23, 2020

Modern Mrs Darcy

Aug 10, 2020

An examination of race in America from a unique perspective.

May 20, 2020

Beautiful and masterful! I loved this novel and had to take several days to process it all. It successfully weaves a multilayered story and pays homage to real struggle of being uprooted, being an immigrant, being black and to finding one's place. There are so many multidimensional characters and it's hard to put the book down. It's been described as a love story, but there is so much more to this book.

VaughanPLDavidB Feb 26, 2020

Though I didn't intend to, as soon as I started reading this book, I was comparing it to Will Ferguson's 419. I didn't much like 419 at the time I read it, and now I like it even less. I'm not sure how Ferguson could ever have presumed to write about Nigeria with any kind of authority. If only to learn a little bit about Nigerian and Nigerians, this is the book to read. Yet it is so much more. The thing that stood out to me is that there seems to be a great gulf between what it means to be African American, and what it means to be a non-American African, particularly those living in America. The author has clearly observed, through the eyes of her main character, Ifemelu, that African Americans as a group seem to have defined themselves by their position in the hierarchy of victimhood, and seem loath to give up that position. This is clear in the way that the character Blaine is essentially lecturing the reader about race. I read to be entertained and informed, not to be lectured. That's why I give this book 4 rather than 5.

OPL_AnnaW Dec 20, 2019

An immigration story, a love story, and an exploration of race and identity, this book covers a lot of bases. Adichie crafts such captivating characters that I had a hard time putting this book down.

Nov 22, 2019

Great book

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Jan 28, 2019

They would not understand why people like him, who were raised well fed and watered but mired in dissatisfaction, conditioned from birth to look towards somewhere else, eternally convinced that real lives happened in that somewhere else, were now resolved to dangerous things, illegal things, so as to leave, none of them starving, or raped, or from burned villages, but merely hungry for choice and certainty.

Oct 03, 2016

"...he lived in London indeed but invisibly, his existence like an erased pencil sketch..."

Oct 03, 2016

"She liked that he wore their relationship so boldly, like a brightly colored shirt."

DLBookWorm Aug 06, 2016

“That her relationship with him was like being content in a house but always sitting by the window and looking out”

Jul 26, 2015

“Racism should never have happened and so you don't get a cookie for reducing it.”


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