10/30/2014

Review: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

AmericanahAmericanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is amazing because it's tightly focused on the extremely difficult to discuss issue of race and how we all perceive and act on our prejudices, yet the plot, tone, and characters are so engaging, accessible and just plain good natured that you keep on reading.

Ifemelu is a charismatic young Igbo woman who grows up in Nigeria who moves to the US to go to college, and settles here for a while. She starts a popular, almost humorous blog about racial perceptions from an NAB (non-American black) in her new adopted country. Never content to follow the herd, she searches hard for her identity, work, love, and for what feels right for her as an individual. You will love this woman and cheer her on through her struggles.

As a white reader I learned a lot about race perceptions, particularly how race is always an issue for black people in American society. As Ifemelu says, she was never black before she left Nigeria. I have taken some courses for educators about race, and this book extends what I learned there. I was engrossed, challenged, and entertained and highly recommend it to anyone who wants something good to read. If you're looking for a book for students to open the topic of talking about race in America, or want a book for a one book community read, I would highly suggest this, too.


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