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Summer Reading 2017: Americanah

Find the book you want to read this summer!

About the book


by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.

Goodreads Review from Book Riot contributor Jessica Woodbury:

I don't often read fantasy, because so often the books I enjoy take the world I already know and show it to me through different eyes. That's definitely what happened with AMERICANAH. Adichie's writing is simple, there's no need to be overly flowery when you're so effective at slicing open the world.

The outsider point of view of Ifemele as she comes into the US and then back to Nigeria only to find herself as an outsider again, shows new insights into a world that can seem familiar or boring through other eyes. I was mesmerized, following along with her experiences, getting a chance to reflect on race, class, and country. I really can't recommend it enough. 


Applicable categories for the Urban Read Harder Challenge: 

Make Beyonce Proud (read a nonfiction book about feminism or a novel with feminist themes)

Interview with the author

Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie

For Fans Of

  • Contemporary literary fiction
  • Cultural commentary
  • Nigeria
  • Immigration stories 

About the reader

Amanda Moore, English

In the past, Amanda has recommended the following books:

  • Blankets by Craig Thompson
  • Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
  • Fairyland by Alysia Abbott
  • Black Swan Green by David Mitchell
  • Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl