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"In physical therapy, there are two kinds of pain: the kind where you're actually causing yourself an injury, and the kind that means good work is being done. Americanah is painful in the second way -- under Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche's incomparably observant, intelligent eye, the U.S.'s fraught relationship to race and racism is thrown into harsh relief by a self-described "Non-American Black," Ifemelu, who writes a blog about her experiences moving Stateside and becoming, as her friends in Nigeria say, an Americanah. Adiche is akin to a modern-day Jane Austen, with her razor-sharp social commentary that somehow manages to avoid judgment, and her sense of absurdity and comedy, even in the most serious of situations. Required reading for everyone living in a country that claims to be "post-racial."
— Katie P.
is SUCH A GREAT BOOK. The story of two friends growing up in
Nigeria, moving to the UK and US, and ultimately finding each other
again in Africa, Adichie is a master at tellang a great story with
compelling characters as well as causing a reader to think. She's
one of the best writers working today.
— Randomhouse Liz
Americanah functions as many things, which is part of why it
is such a remarkable accomplishment. It’s a novel, telling the story of
two young Nigerians making their lives under drastically different (and
yet fundamentally similar) ways abroad. But it’s also a powerful
polemic on race, particularly race in the United States; it’s a book to
start discussions; a tool; a reading assignment for Americans who
believe this country (or any country) is “post-racial.”
— Katie P
10th ANNIVERSARY EDITION • NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A modern classic about star-crossed lovers that explores questions of race and being Black in America—and the search for what it means to call a place home. • From the award-winning author of We Should All Be Feminists and Half of a Yellow Sun • WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY THE AUTHOR "An expansive, epic love story."—O, The Oprah Magazine
Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be Black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post–9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.
At once powerful and tender, Americanah is a remarkable novel that is "dazzling…funny and defiant, and simultaneously so wise." —San Francisco Chronicle
About the Author
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grew up in Nigeria. Her work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared in various publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, Granta, The O. Henry Prize Stories, Financial Times, and Zoetrope: All-Story. She is the author of the novels Purple Hibiscus, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; Half of a Yellow Sun, which was the recipient of the Women’s Prize for Fiction “Winner of Winners” award; Americanah, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award; the story collection The Thing Around Your Neck; and the essays We Should All Be Feminists and Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions, both national bestsellers. A recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.
National Book Critics Circle Award Winner • One of the New York Times Book Review's Best Books of the Year •A PARADE BEST BOOK OF ALL TIME
One of the Best Books of the Year: The New York Times •NPR • Chicago Tribune • The Washington Post • The Seattle Times • Entertainment Weekly • Newsday • Goodreads One of Time's 10 Best Fiction Books of the year
“Dazzling. . . . Funny and defiant, and simultaneously so wise. . . . Brilliant.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“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
“Masterful. . . . An expansive, epic love story. . . . 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
“[A] knockout of a novel about immigration, American dreams, the power of first love, and the shifting meanings of skin color. . . . A marvel.” —NPR
“A cerebral and utterly transfixing epic. . . . Americanah is superlative at making clear just how isolating it can be to live far away from home. . . . Unforgettable.” —The Boston Globe
“Witheringly trenchant and hugely empathetic . . . a novel that holds the discomfiting realities of our times fearlessly before us. . . . A steady-handed dissection of the universal human experience.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Adichie is uniquely positioned to compare racial hierarchies in the United States to social striving in her native Nigeria. She does so in this new work with a ruthless honesty about the ugly and beautiful sides of both nations.” —The Washington Post
“Gorgeous. . . . A bright, bold book with unforgettable swagger that proves it sometimes takes a newcomer to show Americans to ourselves.” —The Dallas Morning News
“Americanah tackles the U.S. race complex with a directness and brio no U.S. writer of any color would risk.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer
“So smart about so many subjects that to call it a novel about being black in the 21st century doesn’t even begin to convey its luxurious heft and scope. . . . Capacious, absorbing and original.” —Jennifer Reese, NPR
“Superb . . . Americanah is that rare thing in contemporary literary fiction: a lush, big-hearted love story that also happens to be a piercingly funny social critique.” —Vogue