Thursday, April 11, 2013

Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie - An Old-Fashioned Love Story

Posted in: , ,

I have not read Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie, but I'm really looking forward to it, and I had been intruiged since I read the blurb and an excerpt, and knew the main story was between two people in love. There had also been a love story in Half a Yellow Sun, but it was overshadowed by the Biafran war theme. Here, the other issues in the book are more subsidiary. In an interview about Americanah, Chimamanda answered the following questions,

...what is Americanah about?

It is about love. I wanted to write an unapologetically old-fashioned love story. But it is also about race and how we reinvent ourselves. It is about how, when we leave home, we become another version of ourselves. And it is also about hair…

You write brilliantly about love. What do you think makes a love last?

I wish I knew… if I did, I would market it. Lasting love has to be built on mutual regard and respect. It is about seeing the other person. I am very interested in relationships and, when I watch couples, sometimes I can sense a blindness has set in. They have stopped seeing each other. It is not easy to see another person.

Have you experienced love at first sight?

No, but I would like to.

The interview was by the Observer, and she said other things about the book too. Below is the blurb of the book

AMERICANAH is a fearless novel set in Nigeria, England and America. It boldly takes on issues both big and small: love, race, home, hair, Obama, immigration, and self-invention. In the early 1990s, under Abacha’s government, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. People are leaving the country if they can and Ifemelu leaves for America, where alongside defeats and triumphs, she confronts the inevitable question of race. Obinze, unable to join her in America, goes on to live as an illegal immigrant in London. After several years they have both achieved success -- Ifemelu as a popular blogger about race, and Obinze as a wealthy man in the now democratic Nigeria. When Ifemelu decides to return to Nigeria, she and Obinze must both make the biggest decision of their lives.

Americanah is out now, and will also be available in Nigeria by the end of the month. I'm talking with the publishers, and hopefully we can do a book club discussion on the book next month. I loved Chimamanda's previous two novels, and I'm looking forward to this one.


  1. Hmmm i'm currently reading it, halfway through.

    So far, its been an interesting read however there were some not so spell bound chapters which had to do with some of the Race posts from the blog of the immigrant. Having lived with whites for a bit, I can relate to the race issue however i felt it was slightly too focused for a love novel as it began to read like a text book.

    I also didn't quite care for the overt focus on natural hair for black women.

    In summary, its an interesting novel so far and I would not want to give any spoilers but i'm currently at the point in the book where the lovers (the guy married with a kid and the girl still single) reconnect...and obviously start sleeping together even though the guy was not having problems in his marriage per say but the "force" and "connection" with the past girlfriend was so "thick" and "intimate".

    Okay i've said enough :)

    1. omg it's out?! I had an idea it would be released in one of the 'M' months so I thought May because I couldn't remember exactly the month stated in an article I read about it. Ah! I must go look for it! I absolutely love this woman's books!

  2. Wow.... I love this novel and i can't wait for me to read it in full. What actually made me pick special interest in this ladies novel was when i watched her live on TED delivering a live lecture about 'Africa' and the whiteman's culture. The white where just knodding their head.
    Please do and bring the novel into open. I Just can't wait.

  3. Would be on the lookout for this, should be an interesting read. Thanks for sharing!

  4. waiting for my library to order it haha .... I be ijebu girl

  5. Cannot wait for this book...
    Amazon has a release date of May 14th....but i shall find a copy before then...
    I have read all her books and met her last year at the Farafina literary workshop...
    just a total crush!!!!

  6. Ooooh I ccan't wait to read it


Click Post a Comment to share your thoughts, I'll love to hear from you. Thanks!

*Comments on old posts are moderated and may take sometime to be shown. That's just because I want to see them and respond to you if necessary.