Americanah is an interesting read by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It is a vivid work describing three cultures. We see America and the United Kingdom from the point of view of a realistic Nigerian. Realistic because the main character tells us about these places without the lens of glory which others see it. She humorously tells us certain peculiarities of a Nigerian in these places. She also describes the way Africans are perceived by the Americans and Europeans. Her language is colourful. Issues bordering racism, the clamour for citizenship and even hair are discussed. She also touches the superiority one feels when you return back to your home country. Your taste changes, your accent changes. Also the pedestal on which you are suddenly placed on because you traveled overseas, as if it’s such a huge feat. I love the language. Adichie describes a car in the floody streets of Lagos as ‘a gasping boat’. She uses a lot of intelligent expressions which I can only say you should find out for yourself.
She also explores romance between childhood friends Obinze and Ifemelu, who both had a taste of life outside their own country after their teen years. I recommend this book to those who love language and who enjoy reading most of the time. It’s a book that different kinds of readers can relate to. Whether you have traveled abroad or not, you will be able to relate to her experiences.
I love her writing because she is very descriptive and most times when reading her book, you forget that you are reading fiction. I also enjoyed the originality in depicting Nigeria. You can easily relate to what she is talking about. The main character, Ifemelu is such an opinionated person. She may seem judgmental but sometimes her remarks are rib tickling.
I enjoyed the book to a certain extent. What I actually enjoyed was Adichie’s language and intelligent descriptions. The book, for me, was interesting but quite prolonged and at certain points I got bored. There was a lot of opinionated discussions in the book which were at times intelligent and at times caused a great ‘internal yawn’ (using the words of the author). The book would still have been interesting if it had been cut in half. The love story was quite brief.
Americanah is an intelligently written novel. I have my own opinions. If you have read it, let me hear yours. If you haven’t read it, it’s not a bad idea to get a copy or borrow from a friend.