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Half of a Yellow Sun Paperback – September 4, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
The plot cannot be condensed into one theme or story. It is about loving someone with whom you have real and painful differences, the heartache, companionship, and ultimately, acceptance of each other and of the love that you have. It is about how disparate members of a family cope with plenty and with poverty. It takes you into the war for Biafra and the details are harsh, stark, and they make you pause.
Adichie presents us with an honest story; there are no happy endings; many compromises. This is the beauty of the story - it is honest, real, lyrically relentless in depicting a point in time that was a shame of a nation; of a world.
Adichie's novel will haunt you and it will stand the test of time.
When a writer thinks of a story for years, and then sets out to write it with care and passion, the prose flows as heartfelt, and the novel shines. As a result, long after you finish reading this novel, you will feel your mind lit with the light of this powerful, frightening and also deeply moving novel. Written in simple but elegant prose, her style reminded me of the great Indian writer R. K. Narayan: "He looked up at the ceiling, so high up, so piercingly white. He closed his eyes and tried to reimagine this spacious room with the alien furniture, but he couldn't. He opened his eyes, overcome by a new wonder, and looked around to make sure it was all real. To think that he would sit on these sofas, polish this slippery-smooth floor, wash these gauzy curtains."
And like R. K. Narayan, who was well-known for his short stories, Chimamanda also has written short stories as well. (She has been compared with Chinua Achebe, but I haven't read any of Achebe's novels.)
In Nigeria, in the late 1960s, there was a civil war between the Muslims in the north and Christians in the south, in the state of Biafra. Ethnic cleansing and massacre of Biafrans followed. As a result, Biafrans tried to secede from Nigeria. The half of a yellow sun refers to the emblem of the flag of the state of Biafra.Read more ›
By Amanta Usukpam Ukpaghiri
I finished reading Half of a Yellow Sun and was left with a lingering sense of sadness at having completed the novel too quickly. I wished it continued and that l continued to read it, perhaps, for a very long time. It is a masterpiece of a work, destined to be a classic; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has trod where many others have feared to tread. She has taken the pain and suffering and horror of a people - the Igbos -- and given them novelistic prominence, and by so doing, asked historical questions that still demand answers. She, in effect, stands athwart the current amnesia in Nigeria and requests that the country comes to terms with the Igbo sub-nationality and either accept it as a full member of the polity -- or leave it alone to its own devices. Admirably, she is (as she said in an interview) "insistently and consciously" Igbo - and unlike several economic climbers in today's Nigeria, is never shamelessly apologetic that she is Igbo.
This book is truly more than a novel - although even as a novel, it is extremely well crafted, brimming with characters that come alive and leap off the pages and embody events that unquestionably took place in the history of Nigeria. Indeed, this book is a form of historical narrative that tells the story of Igbos' vibrant engagement with Nigeria in the 1960s before the civil war, the massacres of tens of thousands of Igbos following military intervention in politics, and the period of the civil war itself from 1967 to 1970.
Chimamanda has achieved several noble things with one stroke. She has furnished literature with simple, elegant and sharp sentences and a (albeit horror) story beautifully woven together in paragraph after paragraph.Read more ›
While the war for Biafra's independence, born out of highly complex Nigerian and international political circumstances, provides the essential context for the novel, Adichie's focus is on the personal and private, the struggle of the civilian Igbo population. Her depiction of the horrors of war, the starvation and destruction is realistic. Yet she does not allow these scenes to take over and succeeds in not overwhelming the reader with them. By concentrating on one family and its close circle of friends and neighbours, Adichie creates an intimate portrait of these people's lives during both these critical periods. She paints her characters and their ongoing interactions against the panoramic view of events and environments that influence their lives and challenges their peace and even their existence.
Central to her story are the twin sisters, Olanna and Kainene, from a wealthy middleclass Igbo family. The beautiful Olanna leaves Lagos for a university environment to be with her political firebrand lover, the math professor Odenigbo.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ugwu, Kainene, Olanna and Richard are all fully developed, powerful characters. I learned a lot about the meaning of war from this book... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Sadhana
A beautifully written look at the the realities of war through the eyes of three different characters. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Micah Connelly
This is a gripping novel about the Biafra War. Different characters provide insight from several points of view.Published 10 days ago by Barbara A. Anderson
Well written, well developed characters. Sheds light on the indifference, corruption and inhumanity by the great political powers to the sufferings and oppression of colonized... Read morePublished 19 days ago by QBan008
This was such a wonderful book. I found myself unable to put it down most days.Published 28 days ago by Adrienne
This was such a great read, I could not put it down! I'm looking forward to reading the rest of Adichie's novels.Published 29 days ago by Miss Jay
I’ll be honest. I started reading "Half of a Yellow Sun” because I felt like I should. I've been trying to broaden my reading list, adding books from other countries. Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. W. Crump
One of the best books I've ever read. She's a fantastic writer.Published 1 month ago by Marissa Madsen