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traveling pages: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Americanah

April 23rd, 2015 by nina · No Comments · books, review

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
First publication 2013
translated into thirty languages

What did I know about Nigeria and Nigerian people? The honest answer had to be: nothing.
But then I read Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. A book about a young Nigerian woman called Ifemelu who is accepted to study in the USA. Ifemelu has high hopes about studying in the US, about getting a better education, a better life and about keeping her boyfriend Obinze who had to stay in Nigeria. But things change and Ifemelu become an americanah, she starts to adjusts herself, to relax her hair and dress like everyone else. But then again things happen and Ifemelu remember who she was. She starts a blog and writes about being black in a non black country. In the end Ifemelu moves back to Nigeria where she is a stranger again. Can she adjust one more time? And what will happen with her and Obinze who is married and a big man into business?
There are some parallels between Ifemelus Life and the one of her creator. Like her protagonist Chimaanda Ngozi Adichie is born in Nigeria. She is raised in Nsukka and moves to the USA when she was 19.
I really enjoyed reading this book. I learned a lot about Nigeria and the Nigerian way of life. This book gives an inside of so many things I never truly thought about because they just didn’t touch me. I am a white German who grew up in small town with some turkish and arabic people who are already born here. It hit me when Ifemelu writes about becoming black the minute you enter a mostly white country like the US. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie got me thinking about how I would feel entering a mostly black country. Where I am the one that is different. Where I have to be the one trying to adjust. Knowing what the black women do to look less african I can see it everywhere. The relaxed hair, the american way of life. And I love that there are a lot of women that just don’t want to do this anymore. they don’t want to fit in at all cost. They have their curly hair and their own way to dress…and I love it!


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