Americanah // Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

If I were to put Americanah into three words I would say it is a cultural awakening masterpiece. Aside from touching on key aspects involving social and racial topics, I found Americanah unbelievably funny. Okay, I should probably mention what this novel is about before saying how much I love it! I think that makes more sense, doesn't it? 

"Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland." 

Some Of My Favorite Quotes

“How easy it was to lie to strangers, to create with strangers the versions of our lives we imagined.” 
― Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieAmericanah

“Dear Non-American Black, when you make the choice to come to America, you become black. Stop arguing. Stop saying I'm Jamaican or I'm Ghanaian. America doesn't care.” 
― Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieAmericanah

“The only reason you say that race was not an issue is because you wish it was not. We all wish it was not. But it’s a lie. I came from a country where race was not an issue; I did not think of myself as black and I only became black when I came to America.” 
― Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieAmericanah

“And her joy would become a restless thing, flapping its wings inside her, as though looking for an opening to fly away.” 
― Chimamanda Ngozi AdichieAmericanah


I believe the reason I am so connected to this novel is because of my own life experience. Growing up in Nigeria (moving around) then eventually schooling in the U.S. showed me how America perceives race compared to other nations. This novel does not only talk about the social issues in America although the title does say "America-nah" it branches out to talk about the social issues in the UK as well as in Nigeria.

Adichie really opened my eyes to topics that are always swept under the rug or people feel too uncomfortable to talk about so they let it sit in the air awkwardly and pretend these topics do not exist. Even though Adichie brings up the topics of social inequality, race, class, cultural clashes and much moreShe embeds these topics into the lives of Ifemelu, Obinze and many more wonderfully written characters in a realistic and funny manner. This novel does not just list the wrongs and the glitches in our societies, it walks you through them to create an understanding without pointing any fingers or blaming anyone.

All in all I strongly feel that Americanah is remarkable. One might say I am a bit biased because I'm a Nigerian-American that read a book that covers subjects about Nigeria and America therefore I have a greater liking to this novel. Although I completely disagree. If I were simply an individual that had a fascination with different cultures, people's lives, social issues, I would still pick up Americanah and have the same appreciation for it. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as written another wonderful novel that can relate equally to the niche groups as well as the masses.