Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

June 15, 2016 Audio Books 8

Happy Wednesday, Bookworms!

I’m still playing catch up with reviews (thank heaven for Andi’s Reviewathon!) I’m a little nervous about tackling this next review because the book left me gobsmacked, but I’m going to try anyway. Y’all ready to hear my take on Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie? Let’s do this.

americanahIfemelu and Obinze are teenagers living in Nigeria when they fall in love. They are separated when an unstable government makes their educational aspirations difficult to achieve in Nigeria. Ifemelu soon leaves for America while Obinze stays behind, hoping they’ll soon be reunited and begin a life together.

Unfortunately, life had other plans for the pair. Ifemelu’s introduction into American life wasn’t the seamless transition she’d hoped it would be. Obinze found it impossible to emigrate to the US. Instead he embarks on a dangerous journey into an undocumented life in London. Their lives have taken them very different places, and when they each eventually return to Nigeria, they face a new set of challenges.

Holy crap, you guys. This book was so flipping good. It was smart and humorous and beautiful and eye opening. I listened to it and I cannot recommend the audio version highly enough. The narrator was spectacular. If it bothers you to not know the correct pronunciation of names while reading, audio is definitely the way to go. I am not at all familiar with the pronunciation of Nigerian names, nor do I know enough about the language to play the sound-it-out game. Being able to hear the names pronounced with the correct accent added so much to my reading experience. (Admit it. If you read Harry Potter before you saw the movies, you mentally read “HERMY-OWN.” And now you feel silly about it.)

Seriously, y’all, you do NOT need to be a Nigerian expat to dig this book (although if you ARE a Nigerian expat, I’d LOVE to hear your take on it!) Reading books written by and about people of other cultures and backgrounds is important to me. I feel like it makes me a more empathetic, well-rounded human being. And, isn’t that kind of the point of life? I think what I”m trying to say here is that reading = life. I’m not at all prone to hyperbole. And you should read Americanah.

Talk to me, Bookworms! Have you read anything awesome lately set in Africa? I’m just adding to the TBR pile with reckless abandon these days. YOLO. 

*I just said YOLO. WHO AM I EVEN? But also, if you buy something through a link on this site, I might make a few cents. My slang will still be pathetic though.*

8 Responses to “Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie”

  1. Megan M.

    I don’t think I know of any besides the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, but I told you about that yesterday. I wish I knew more!

    • Words For Worms

      Where is Jenny from Reading the End when you need her? I’m going to go track her down and get us a big fat list of recommendations. I believe books set in Africa is something of a specialty for her.

  2. Imaginary Book Club (@ImaginaryBC)

    Ooh, all of the African books!! In the land of fiction, you can’t go wrong with Adichie, Achebe, duh, but check out Zoo City by Lauren Beukes or The Hairdresser of Harare by Tendai Huchu or No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (looks like someone suggested that – definitely worth a read).

  3. Akilah

    It never occurred to me to try this on audio, though it should have since I couldn’t quite make it through the print version. Thanks for the reminder!

  4. Sarah Says Read

    THIS BOOK IS SO GREAT. I love Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s getting made in to a movie and I wasn’t really interested because I wasn’t sure it would be done right, but you make a good point about the name pronunciation. Might be worth it just for that because I’m 99% positive that I’m not saying the names right in my head.

  5. Jenny @ Reading the End

    I love love love this book! And this author! Yayyyy I am so glad you liked it, and in defense of my younger self, I totally knew how to pronounce Hermione. I can’t remember if I knew that because I took Latin, or because my mother said the name Hermione and taught me the truth, but anyway, I knew. I KNEW. YOUNG ME KNEW.

    African fiction: I read a book called Repercussions earlier this year, by Anthony Schneider, which was quite good. And if you feel like science fiction, Nnedi Okorafor’s Lagoon is good stuff as well.

Talk to me, Bookworms!

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