Half of A Yellow SunBook - 2006
With astonishing empathy and the effortless grace of a natural storyteller, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie weaves together the lives of three characters swept up in the turbulence of the decade. Thirteen-year-old Ugwu is employed as a houseboy for a university professor full of revolutionary zeal. Olanna is the professor's beautiful mistress, who has abandoned her life of privilege in Lagos for a dusty university town and the charisma of her new lover. And Richard is a shy young Englishman in thrall to Olanna's twin sister, an enigmatic figure who refuses to belong to anyone. As Nigerian troops advance and the three must run for their lives, their ideals are severely tested, as are their loyalties to one another.
Epic, ambitious, and triumphantly realized, Half of a Yellow Sun is a remarkable novel about moral responsibility, about the end of colonialism, about ethnic allegiances, about class and race--and the ways in which love can complicate them all. Adichie brilliantly evokes the promise and the devastating disappointments that marked this time and place, bringing us one of the most powerful, dramatic, and intensely emotional pictures of modern Africa that we have ever had.
From Library Staff
This novel taught me about the Biafran War and the political unrest in Nigeria during the mid-20th century (and beyond). Adichie weaves together three main characters' stories in a way that feels all-encompassing and educational (while still deeply moving and entertaining).
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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