This were the thicker books I read in the first half of this summer. The second half of the summer happened on a Thursday, so to say. It was chilly, raining, … most of the time. Time for longer novels again, but I read only one:
Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie - this is the (love) story of a Nigerian woman, Ifemenu, who left Africa for America and her school friend Obinze, who only made it to the UK (illegally) … It's their plan to return together, but things do not go according to their plans. Where Obinze failed (he is deported), Ifemu thrives. Back in Nigeria, Obinze finds a lucrative job and marries a beautiful wife …
When we first meet Ifemu, she is getting her hair braided at an African saloon 13 years after coming to America. We read that she won a prestigious fellowship at Princeton and writes a popular blog: observations about American Blacks by a Non-American Black. Yet she decided to throw this away and return home. And she returned. In America she was black - In Nigeria, she's an Americanah.
The hairdresser asks why? So did I …. but Chimamanda makes it clear through her characters.
Americanah is the first novel I read from the award-winning Nigerian writer (it's her third). How did I discover it? It was selected as One of The 10 Best Books of 2013, by the NY Times … I read it in German.
And I really, really enjoyed reading it. A great story, a great analysis of complicated real life situations (race and identity, love, ..), a virtuously written text.