Lit Pick of the Week: “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Radar is committed to all forms of art and entertainment and as such, will pick one book as a reading recommendation for this column. This week, Radar’s “Lit” pick is “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Courtesy of Alfred A. Knopf

“Americanah” is an impactful story written by award-winning Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Centered around two lovers navigating through the world, the storyline follows them from their teenage years through adulthood.

Ifemulu and Obinze are two teenagers living in Lagos when they meet and fall in love very quickly. However, when a military dictatorship threatens their country, it drives a wedge in their relationship, causing Ifemulu to move to America while Obinze stays behind in Lagos, and eventually makes his way to London. Adichie adopts first person perspectives for both characters, which creates an attachment between reader and character.

Alongside the romantic thread, “Americanah” addresses relevant social issues such as race and the immigrant experience in America, having to face culture shock and assimilation. Ifemulu faces many hardships such as finding a job and being treated unfairly because of her race. Masterfully combining a love story with themes addressing race and identity, Adichie’s novel presents a memorable story that will make readers laugh, cry and reflect on the complexity of life.

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