Adichie’s Americanah has been on my shelf since during my IT months late last year and several times since then, I’ve picked up the book and then dropped it after reading a only few pages of it. Now, don’t even think it: this was never because I didn’t find the book interesting each time I picked it up but because I was just unable to go on, usually making an excuse of unjustifiable busyness.
Then, eventually, I decided to go get serious with it, I took it up somd days ago and now I’ve read it from start to finish and I couldn’t help but blame myself for having taken too long to read such masterpiece.
Lorine Pruette called Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead a novel full of ideas, I agree with her; Adichie’s Americanah, too, is one of the first real novels of sentiments I’ve ever read.
The book chronicles the life of a Nigerian girl, named Ifemelu, who basically travelled to America with the thought of starting a new and better life. Ironically, the book ended with Ifemelu returning from America to start a new and better life in her home Nigeria.
In few words, I’ll comment on what Americanah is:
Americanahis a captivating read about America and the debunking of some of the average Nigerians’ perception of her. Imagine Ifemelu getting to the great America only to realize, disappointedly that there are beggers and roaches there, too. Just like poor Nigeria! Etcetera.
Then, Americanah is an enlightening read about racism in America. Before Americanah, I have only a small understanding of many aspects of racism, but the Adichie piece gave me a better understanding of–in some regards–and fresh perspectives on–in others–what racism is like. In fact, books I’ve been reading these days, including Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime and Brabara Wood’s Green City in the Sun, had been surprisingly vocal, even I only in one or two short chapters, to the issue of racism).
Also, Americanah is about love. Love built. Love doubted. Love lost. Love found. Interestingly, the book whose beginning references flippant love narratives, ended up as a rivetting story of rekindled love.
For a tech oriented person like me, Chimamanda earned more scores for Americanah by making the protagonist’s tech-writing drive a major subject. Ifemelu’s blog is often discusses with interesting excerpts placed here and there all over the book. This could make people with little or no knowledge of blogging to know, or wish to learn more about it.