If you’re at all familiar with Nigerian novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, you know that her books are gems that lend themselves to frequent rereading and — if the upcoming film based on her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, is any indication — to media adaptation. Her latest, Americanah, will be no exception. At its center is the love story of Ifemelu and Obinze, teenagers who meet at a Lagos school and are eventually separated by military conflict and personal ambition.
They reunite fifteen years later to find themselves faced with greater challenges than they could’ve imagined.
According to Shadow and Act, “the term ‘Americanah’ is a derogatory word used in Nigeria to label other Nigerias who have become too *Americanized.*” Since Ifemelu spends a good deal of the novel in America, pursuing her studies and a post-grad career as a writer, we can imagine the term is one that will be leveled at her. Obinze is disallowed entry into the U.S. after 9/11.
Avid Adichie fans like myself will be thrilled to know that the wait for this book won’t be too long. The 352-page hardcover will be published by Knopf on May 14, 2013, and Amazon already has it available for pre-order.
Stacia L. Brown.