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Half of a Yellow Sun Paperback – September 4, 2007
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Garth Brooks: The Anthology Part 1 | Limited Edition
A great gift for country music fans, The Anthology Part 1 includes CDs containing the music of Garth's first five years, and behind-the-scenes photographs and stories never before made public. Learn more
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“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
About the Author
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grew up in Nigeria, where she attended medical school for two years at the University of Nigeria before coming to the United States. A 2003 O. Henry Prize winner, Adichie was shortlisted for the 2002 Caine Prize for African Writing. Her work has been selected by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and the BBC Short Story Awards, and has appeared in various literary publications, including Zoetrope and the Iowa Review. Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, and longlisted for the Booker. She now divides her time between the U.S. and Nigeria.
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Genocide does not simply happen overnight, and Adichie's slow build to tension and uncomfortable rhetoric through word of mouth, radio, and witness to events provides the perfect set up for the plot. The reader gradually becomes familiar with the delicate nature of ethnic tension between the Igbo, Yoruba, and Faulani in Nigeria. It is not until Olanna leaves her safeguarded world in Nsukka that ethnic violence becomes apparent. Still, it does not seem probable to she and Odenigo's eyes that political activity could descend into a form of violence inconceivable to humanity.
Adichie's treatment of the Biafran Genocide is painstakingly thoughtful. Of course no one wants to read about children dying slow deaths, but Adichie's portrayal of the starvation that grips Biafra is necessary, because we know these facts to be true. It absorbs the reader into the then-current feeling in Biafra, thus enhancing the reader's situational awareness. Too often, people know nothing of the violence in Africa; Adichie's earnest writing style helps to change that, by not only bringing a fairly unknown historical event to light, but to do it in such a way that readers can somehow identify and / or try to understand feelings of helplessness, loss, and anxiety in a war-torn setting. Food is a universal love, and Adichie so excellently portrays the grueling discontent and disbelief of the food shortage that ultimately touches every human in the region. Additionally, her continual reference to radio and other forms of public outreach (billboards, word of mouth) help paint a picture of propaganda, fear, and hope that all take place in wartime.
But I do recommend the book to learn something about the events at that time.
A good movie with Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor was made of this.
Through excellent character development you come to know the main characters as if they were your friends and neighbors. She places you in the pre war time so effectively that you feel the incremental losses the characters experience and want to wake them out of their denial of what is to come.
Not an easy read because of the nature of the subject matter but a revealing and riveting experience.