Sunday, December 29, 2013

Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I don't have as much time as I'd like these days to read fat fiction books - but one of my favorite books is Half of a Yellow Sun, so when I heard the author had come out with a new book, I knew it would be worth the time investment.  Americanah is about a young Nigerian woman, Ifemelu, who moves to the United States.  Once here, she finds herself confronted often with the issue of race - in a way she never was at home - not only is she black in America, but she is also African, with all the importance that distinction holds for herself, and often more importantly, for others.  While Ifemelu goes about her everyday life - falling in and out of love, finding and losing employment, spending time with friends, family, and the internet, she observes issues of race in each interaction.  Ultimately, she moves back to Nigeria and is reunited with a childhood love.  At times this book seemed simple in its story-line, but at the same time infinitely complex in its observations about identity and what defines who we are and how we view ourselves.  Definitely worth a read and a re-read.

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