Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

When Ifemelu and Obinze meet for the first time, they are young and in love, living in military-ruled Nigeria and dreaming of a life together in the West. Ifemelu heads for America where she is forced to understand the true meaning of grace, and culture whereas Obinze ends up in London, unable to join Ifemelu in America post 9/11.

Alone and desperate, Obinze begins to lead a dangerous and undocumented life whereas Ifemelu is forced to struggle with her identity and a dream that seems unattainable in spite of her academic success. Fifteen years later, they are reunited in Nigeria, but uncertain if their love is still there.

Adichie isn’t afraid to shy away from the hard topics, often calling out reports and interviewers on their bias because of her nationality. She proves that being Nigerian isn’t the be-all and end-all of her personality. Instead, her beautiful prose and elegant style speak of a love for language, and her country.

Ifemelu’s struggle is not unique, but she does force the readers to take a long and hard look at issues regarding race, social class, and the structure of our society, particularly as compared to that of the American dream. In Ifemelu’s struggle, we see a young woman desperate to become successful, so much so that she becomes ‘Americanah’.

Obinze, on the other hand, shows the dark reality of being forced to live in hiding, resorting to illegal methods in order to survive and prosper. It is only in their memories of each other that we get a sense of the kind of people they were, passionate and full of hopes and dreams.


Americanah forces us to acknowledge the truth of how far we’re willing to go to fit in, and what happens when we no longer have to.

Book Details

Title: Americanah
Format: Paperback
Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Language : English
Publisher : Anchor
ISBN: 9780307455925

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