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Americanah Paperback – March 4, 2014
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*Starred Review* To the women in the hair-braiding salon, Ifemelu seems to have everything a Nigerian immigrant in America could desire, but the culture shock, hardships, and racism she’s endured have left her feeling like she has “cement in her soul.” Smart, irreverent, and outspoken, she reluctantly left Nigeria on a college scholarship. Her aunty Uju, the pampered mistress of a general in Lagos, is now struggling on her own in the U.S., trying to secure her medical license. Ifemelu’s discouraging job search brings on desperation and depression until a babysitting gig leads to a cashmere-and-champagne romance with a wealthy white man. Astonished at the labyrinthine racial strictures she’s confronted with, Ifemelu, defining herself as a “Non-American Black,” launches an audacious, provocative, and instantly popular blog in which she explores what she calls Racial Disorder Syndrome. Meanwhile, her abandoned true love, Obinze, is suffering his own cold miseries as an unwanted African in London. MacArthur fellow Adichie (The Thing around Your Neck, 2009) is a word-by-word virtuoso with a sure grasp of social conundrums in Nigeria, East Coast America, and England; an omnivorous eye for resonant detail; a gift for authentic characters; pyrotechnic wit; and deep humanitarianism. Americanah is a courageous, world-class novel about independence, integrity, community, and love and what it takes to become a “full human being.” --Donna Seaman --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
It is not a stretch to say that her finely observed new book, which combines perfectly calibrated social satire and heartfelt emotion, stands with Invisible Man and The Bluest Eye as a defining work about the experience of being black in America.--Ruth Franklin --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.
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I also found Ifemelu to be contemptible and selfish. The story did tie up one loose end but I questioned whether it should have ended as it did.
I also really loved it's amazing depiction of Nigeria. It portrayed an alternate image of Nigeria and Africa that the world needs. It's not always about poor black kids, lack of clean water and/or lack of education. It shows that there are in fact educated, middle class people who live normal lives and wear shoes contrary to what the media depicts and leads the rest of the world to believe. This book should be read by all kids in high school in America because it will give them a broader perspective of the world and about relationships between friends, lovers and family.
The author shines a light on some less obvious racism in America, especially those prejudices held by white folks who consider themselves enlightened liberals. No one reading this book can really get away without some level of discomfort about one's own unjust believes concerning race. We all learn racism; this book may help us unlearn it.
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Great description and movement. In one page you move though so much time and feel every place.Read more