Half of A Yellow SuneBook - 2006
With her award-winning debut novel, Purple Hibiscus, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was heralded by the Washington Post Book World as the “21st century daughter” of Chinua Achebe. Now, in her masterly, haunting new novel, she recreates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra’s impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in Nigeria during the 1960s.
With the effortless grace of a natural storyteller, Adichie weaves together the lives of five characters caught up in the extraordinary tumult of the decade. Fifteen-year-old Ugwu is houseboy to Odenigbo, a university professor who sends him to school, and in whose living room Ugwu hears voices full of revolutionary zeal. Odenigbo’s beautiful mistress, Olanna, a sociology teacher, is running away from her parents’ world of wealth and excess; Kainene, her urbane twin, is taking over their father’s business; and Kainene’s English lover, Richard, forms a bridge between their two worlds. As we follow these intertwined lives through a military coup, the Biafran secession and the subsequent war, Adichie brilliantly evokes the promise, and intimately, the devastating disappointments that marked this time and place.
Epic, ambitious and triumphantly realized, Half of a Yellow Sun is a more powerful, dramatic and intensely emotional picture of modern Africa than any we have had before.
From the Hardcover edition.
From the critics
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“The new Nigerian upper class is a collection of illiterates who read nothing and eat food they dislike at overpriced Lebanese restaurants and have social conversations around one subject: ‘How’s the new car behaving?’”
This was love: a string of coincidences that gathered significance and became miracles.
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Library_Liz thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over
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This profoundly gripping story takes place as the Igbo people try to form the independent nation of Biafra during the 1960s. Yes, you will read what you would expect to read when the word “Biafra” is mentioned: famine and war. But if you turned away before reading this amazing book, you would miss the story of Olanna and her sister, Kainene. You would miss learning about the cultures of eastern Africa from the poorest villagers to the wealthy landowners and the intellectual elite. This story transcends its setting by an author who lets you into the lives and relationships of the families and in so doing, you learn more about the human condition even in inhuman times. One of the most interesting characters is scarcely mentioned as the story begins – Ugwu, the 13-year old houseboy – but through his eyes you see how he rises from insignificance to one of the main characters. Everything in this story is believable and compelling; a real tour de force!
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