Fall '08/Winter '09 Reading Group List
“This powerful and dramatic story is set in Nigeria in the 1960s, against the hopes and disappointment of the struggle for a Biafran republic. Adichie balances the political turmoil with three compelling point-of-view characters. Lushly written and emotionally haunting, this book contributes new faces to our understanding of the human costs of race, class, and ethnic struggles in our world.”
— Elli Meeropol, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA
From the award-winning, bestselling author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists—a haunting story of love and war
Recipient of the Women’s Prize for Fiction “Winner of Winners” award
With effortless grace, celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie illuminates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s. We experience this tumultuous decade alongside five unforgettable characters: Ugwu, a thirteen-year-old houseboy who works for Odenigbo, a university professor full of revolutionary zeal; Olanna, the professor’s beautiful young mistress who has abandoned her life in Lagos for a dusty town and her lover’s charm; and Richard, a shy young Englishman infatuated with Olanna’s willful twin sister Kainene.
Half of a Yellow Sun is a tremendously evocative novel of the promise, hope, and disappointment of the Biafran war.
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.
“A gorgeous, pitiless account of love, violence and betrayal during the Biafran war.” —Time
“Instantly enthralling. . . . Vivid. . . . Powerful . . . A story whose characters live in a changing wartime atmosphere, doing their best to keep that atmosphere at bay.” —The New York Times
“Ingenious. . . . [With] searching insight, compassion and an unexpected yet utterly appropriate touch of wit, Adichie has created an extraordinary book.” —Los Angeles Times
“Brilliant. . . . Adichie entwines love and politics to a degree rarely achieved by novelists. . . . That is what great fiction does–it simultaneously devours and ennobles, and in its freely acknowledged invention comes to be truer than the facts upon which it is built.” —Elle