Come and chat to Orange Prize winner Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie about her new novel, AMERICANAH, on Tues 29 April, 9-10pm

(120 Posts)

April’s choice is a powerhouse of a book that informs and entertains in equal measure. AMERICANAH is the third novel from Orange-Prize winner Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who tackles the enormous subject of race with such vitality, intelligence and general chutzpah that you speed through the pages enchanted. AMERICANAH is first and foremost an epic love story spanning three continents: Nigerian teenagers Ifemelu and Obinze grow up together and fall in love, but are drawn apart when Ifemelu moves to study in the US and Obinze tries his luck in the UK, before returning to be a wealthy Lagos businessman.

Alternating between Ifemelu’s struggles with American ideas of race, and Obinze’s foray into being an illegal immigrant, the novel covers the next thirteen years before they finally meet again (in a 21st century, globalized, democratic Nigeria), and find out if they can regain what was lost. Along the way are many relationships, jobs, mistakes and triumphs, misunderstandings and epiphanies. And hairstyles: as Ifemelu experiments with straightened/Afro/cornrowed hair, her story moves through an identity crisis, into an activist phase and finally an acceptance of her roots, all of which is told with humour and acutely observant detail.

This is a book to make you think deeply, to see a subject in the round in all it's complexity and paradox, to hear things spoken out loud that are so often fudged over. Adichie’s ideas are fresh and bold, her writing always personal and perceptive: she is equally marvellous covering Nigerian politics as she is writing day-to-day dialogue. This is a very funny, very warm, rollicking, authentic, absolutely astonishing book. Don’t miss it – it might easily be your best book of the year.

Chimamanda's TED talk, ‘The Danger of the Single Story’ has been viewed 6.5 million times. You can view it here.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria in 1977. Her first novel 'Purple Hibiscus' was published in 2003 and was longlisted for the Booker Prize. Her second novel 'Half of a Yellow Sun' won the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her work has been selected by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and the BBC Short Story Awards, and in 2010 she appeared on the New Yorker's list of the best 20 writers under 40.

Fourth Estate have 50 free copies to give to Mumsnetters – to claim yours please fill in your details here. We’ll post on the thread when all the copies have gone. If you’re not lucky enough to bag one of the free books, you can always get your paperback or Kindle version here.

We are delighted that Chimamanda will be joining us to discuss Americanah, her writing life and all her previous books on Tuesday 29 April, 9-10pm. So please feel free to discuss the book here throughout the month, pop up any advance questions and we will see you all here, Tue 29 April.

yUMMYmUMMYb Sat 22-Mar-14 21:40:36

Marking place. Just about to start this book.

funkky Tue 25-Mar-14 17:35:44

Marking my place!

funkky Tue 25-Mar-14 17:36:06

.

sparkysparkysparky Mon 31-Mar-14 17:08:57

Hi I enjoyed the book but .. At first the characters were almost Jane Austen like in the way they revealed themse through what they said. However it turned into a 19 century Russian novel once it moved to theUS. Every conversation imbued with significance and analysis. That said I loved what the "hair" passages taught me about Ifemelu's experience. Question for Chimamanda : Did Ifemelu love or even like anybody in this novel? I don't think she did

Mitchy1nge Wed 02-Apr-14 13:52:00

am so looking forward to my FREE copy smile

LCHammer Wed 02-Apr-14 13:56:15

Fantastic book. I'll jot the date in my diary.

becky814 Wed 02-Apr-14 20:52:39

Just waiting for my free copy.

becky814 Fri 04-Apr-14 14:00:24

Book arrived. Can't wait to start it. Wait for the children to go to bed first.

LCHammer Fri 04-Apr-14 15:34:55

Have a lovely weekend, Becky smile

hackmum Fri 04-Apr-14 18:06:42

Really enjoyed this book.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-Apr-14 22:33:09

Great to hear the books have arrived. I LOVE this book - enjoy!

alialiath Tue 08-Apr-14 17:30:59

Thoroughly enjoying the book so far. Will post a review when I've finished reading the book.

I have read both purple hibiscus and Americanah but liked the second much better. I did get confused though with Ghana Must Go by Taiye Selasi. All three excellent books.

Belo Wed 09-Apr-14 13:45:20

My book arrived last week. I really enjoyed Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun so I was very pleased to receive it. Thank you.

3 chapters in and I'm already hooked and wanting to know how Ifemelu's story will develop.

gailforce1 Fri 11-Apr-14 13:39:20

Thank you for my copy. Looking forward to starting after the positive comments above.

alialiath Sun 13-Apr-14 22:30:01

Will be finished reading the book in the next couple of days. I will be passing the book to my friend who was born in Nigeria, but of a completely different mindset to Ifemelu. I will be interesting to hear her views on Ifemelu's experiences in America, as I think if she'd come to the UK her experiences would have be completely different

Thanks to Mumsnet for introducing me to fabulous book I
doubt I'd have ever read

sherazade Thu 17-Apr-14 07:59:37

Thanks for my free copy. Really enjoying this and will post questions soon. It's quite 'heavy' - feel as though I should be highlighting things as I read so I can reflect later !

Uzma01 Thu 17-Apr-14 22:04:22

I've read the other two books and found them written in an engaging style - written from different perspectives and flitting back/forth in time takes a bit of getting used to but is well worth persevering with. So Americanah hasn't disappointed; the subjects of race and immigration have some resonance with me as a someone from a second-generation immigrant family though in the UK.

I've still got to finish reading it - but really want to see how things work out for Ifemelu.

Thrilled that Americanah short listed for the Baileys (formerly Orange) Prize AND won the US National Book Critics Award.

It's time to start gathering advance questions for Chimamanda, so please pop yours up here and we'll send them on at the end of the week.

Don't forget that your questions can be about any of her books, so if you've not yet finished Americanah then feel free to ask about anything you like...

Looking forward to next Tuesday, see you all there...

sweetkat32 Thu 24-Apr-14 12:53:26

I'm about halfway through the book and I have found it such a wonderful learning experience, and really opened my eyes! Thankyou for such a brilliant novel.
My question for Chimamanda do you think people will ever be able to accept each other for who we are or will race always come into it?
Thankyou again for my copy of the book!

Stanislas Thu 24-Apr-14 16:42:57

Thank you for the book. I haven't started reading it yet but I'm looking forward to it. I read a profile of you in the Sunday Times. This may be frivolous but you said you loved Boots the Chemist when you came to London. What is so special for you there?

Lenniepennie Thu 24-Apr-14 22:50:58

I'm intrigued by this title bit haven't read your other two books yet blush. If I wanted to read them all, is there a order you would recommend?

AliMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 25-Apr-14 14:40:13

Hi Chimamanda,
I really enjoyed this book and found Ifelmulu to be a very well rounded protaganist, flaws and all. Did you spend time in all the countries featured in the book when writing to create such authentic dialogue and description or was it from memory and/or imagination?

JonathanBii Fri 25-Apr-14 20:59:42

First of all,congratulations Chimamanda for writing a 600 paged book that was sooo captivating i finished it in less than 24 hours( i skipped a meal i think :-)). My questions are;
- Is there a second part edition to this masterpiece? --What happens to Kosi and Buchi?
-Why do we always have to wait for so long before we get another dose of your genius?
-All your books adress pretty deep themes,what draws you to talk about them i.e where do you find the inspiration because they are topics that havent been fully addressed?
-How long before your next book?
Please do not get mad. I just finished reading all her books.

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