Thursday, March 12, 2015

Teaching "Americanah" This Semester

This week, in my Post-colonial Literature class, we have been discussing Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah. Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, won the Commonwealth Writers Prize, among other awards. Since then, she has continued to write and to win award after award.

In September 2006, she attended the Twin Cities Book Festival in Minneapolis, as one of the invited authors, to launch Half of a Yellow Sun. I attended her book reading and signing, and had the opportunity to have my copy signed, chat with her, and take a photo.

Having taught Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun, I decided to include Americanah in my Post-colonial Literature course this semester.

Although we are not yet half-way into this novel, we can see that it is a moving tale of the lives of Nigerian characters at home and abroad, mainly in the USA. With a keen insight and enjoyable writing style, Adichie explores themes such as relationships between men and women and between races, cultural differences, and the mystique of America.

Africans who have lived in America can relate to the situations and experiences described in Americanah. I can guarantee this, having written Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences.

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