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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.
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.”