Half of a Yellow Sun
With effortless grace, celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie illuminates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s. We experience this tumultuous decade alongside five unforgettable characters: Ugwu, a th...more
It will teach you the history of Biafra, a nation of people who woul…moreI think that anyone, whatever age, who reads this book can only be enriched by it.
It will teach you the history of Biafra, a nation of people who would not go quietly into the night even as they were being relentlessly starved and bombed.
I would recommend this book to any young reader interested in contemporary West African Culture and the idiosyncratic experiences which lie within.
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This book was marvelous. The story just flows for the most part and the language used is so evocative. I’m sure people who have visited or lived in Africa will appreciate the descriptions of African life, African mentality, humour, nature and so on.
I have to admit, I much preferred the first half to ...more
I read only about one-third of this novel. Adichie's (CNA) writing doesn't agree with me at all. And the characters are so flat they should be able to slide under a door trouble-free. The characters don't even bother to play their role with its limited definition. Instead they keep pounding their fists on a table and shouting out what their role is supposed to be: "I am a sardonic bitch.", "I am sooo non-racist you won't even believe it", "blah blah".
Ouch! My head hurts.
One type of characters I ...more
This casual statement he once heard is used as the title of a book written by one of the characters in this novel, in which Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie chronicles the birth, short and tortured life and death of the State of Biafra: born on the 30th of May, 1967 from Nigeria and forcefully annexed back by the parent state, after a bitter war in which a million died, in January 1970.
Most of us, I suspect, do not know about this short-lived country. Even Wikipedia c ...more
It is not often that a novel comes to hand that has been prized, praised and pre-inflated. Half of a Yellow Sun was in that category when I opened it and began to read. And I was captivated immediately. I read the first hundred pages at a pace, delighting in the ease with which the Chimanada Ngozi Adichie used language to draw me into the middle-class clique centred on the University of Nsukka which provides the core characters of her book. Their infidelities, their ...more
“At the gates, Biafran soldiers were waving cars through. They looked distinguished in their khaki uniforms, boots shining, half of a yellow sun sewn on their sleeves.”
This story tracks a family as they transition from a position of influence and privilege with large, comfortable homes in Nigeria, to become citizens of the newly formed republic of Biafra. After a slow (to me) beginning, I ended up fascinated by the story, the family, the people on the fringes of the family, the history, the cu ...more
Half of a Yellow Sun (related with Biafran flag, look the photo) is a story about birth and short life of Biafra, li ...more
Like many African nations colonized by Europeans, its borders had been drawn with little regard for political and cultural realiti ...more
Second read: November 19-23, 2016
My thoughts on this after reading it a second time didn't change much. If anything, it made me love Adichie even more than I already did. This confirmed that she's absolutely one of my all-time favorite authors. She's so observant and able to convey human emotion in such a relatable way, even when describing experiences I have never come close to experiencing. A wonderfully, heartbreaking story and one of my favorite ...more
“Red was the blood of the siblings massacred in the North, black was for mourning them, green was for the prosperity Biafra would have, and, finally, the half of a yellow sun stood for the glorious future.”
Half of a Yellow Sun is a historical fiction work following several characters through the years before, after and during the Biafran-Nigerian war. It's one of those books that is on every 'must read' and book club pick list, so I definitely had high expectations going into this. Especiall ...more
The World Was Silent When We Died
Did you see photos in sixty-eight
Of Children with their hair becoming rust:
Sickly patches nestled on those small heads,
Then falling off, like rotten leaves on dust?
Imagine children with arms like toothpicks,
With footballs for bellies and skin stretched thin.
It wa ...more
Brilliant book - once again.
"The world was silent when many died. But now it will have to listen, as the dead tell their story from beyond the grave."Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writes in detail and manages to keep the reader glued to the book. For those who want to understand what the African Renaissance is all about, this is the kind of book that will shed some valuable light on the current challenges being addressed. It is huge, brutal, dangerous and probably nevere ...more
‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ is an extremely well written, very human story and emotionally authentic story told from very dif ...more
Truth be told, the level of success varied between the genres. For a historical fiction novel, I thought this was excellent! The epic sc ...more
The story of the independence movement for the Biafra region of Nigeria was momentous, and in modern times we would have been much more capable of responding in awareness and support. I remember as a child in an Irish school donating weekly to help the starving people in Biafra without really understanding what was happening.
This story takes the factual situation of the Igbo people in their attempt to establish the Republic of Biafra from Nigeria in 1967 and adds fictional characters and ...more
The story is set in 1960s Nigeria, before and during the civil war. Sisters Olanna and Kainene come from a wealthy Igbo family, and though the ...more
“The war would continue without them. Olanna exhaled, filled with the frothy rage. It was the very sense of being inconsequential that pushed her from extreme fear to extreme fury. She had to matter. She would no longer exist limply, waiting to die.”
Half of a Yellow Sun follows the lives of ordinary people in Nigeria during the 1960s; the time just before the Nigeria-Biafra war and during the war itself. It is an unflinching account of the tolls war takes on regular people. We see good pe ...more
What is amazing about this novel is how Adichie creates a set of characters involved in regular domestic affairs (working, studying, falling in love, being in love, cheating or worried about cheating, finding an identity, growing up, just generally living, etc. etc.) within the conte ...more
TW - graphic violence, graphic rape, war
Although I was aware of the Biafran war and the mass starvation and death that resulted, I never had any understanding of the reasons leading to the birth of Biafra and the aftermath of it's Denise. Through her gentle but effective prose, Adichie has opened my eyes to the role colonialism has had (not just in Nigeria but all ...more
Of children with their hair becoming rust:
Sickly patches nestled on those small heads.
Then falling off, like rotten leaves on dust?
_____ _____ _____ _____
I would have been in grade school, or just entering high school. Adolescent discomfiture was the main thing on my mind. What I knew of the larger world came from photojournalism: Life magazine pictures. Those images, it turns out, were permanent: fire hoses turned on in the South; bombs mushrooming above an ...more
Adichie perfectly captures post-Colonial Nigeria in the first third of the book, managing to cover not only Lagos, but Igbo-cen ...more
Adichie has the most beautiful writing style, and effortlessly creates a consuming atmosphere filled with complex characters.
Before reading this book, I didn't know much about the Biafran war, which is shocking and embarrassing. I learnt so much from this story, and was gripped from start to finish. Whilst the story itself was flawlessly done, it was the ability of Adichie to transport me to a time and place that I ...more
Between the covers of this book, a novel about the Biafran war and a novel about post colonial middle class life in south-eastern Nigeria awkwardly co-exist. That awkwardness, I felt, prevents the novel from being great, pushing it down into the ranks of the merely very good indeed instead.
The novel is split into four sections alternating between the early nineteen sixties and the later sixties. This didn't really work for me. The earlier sections don't add much to ...more
I had heard so many great reviews, I was worried it wouldn't live up to my high expectations, but I am very happy to report that it has. "Half a Yellow Sun" tells the stories of a cast of intriguing, flawed and very real characters around the years of the Biafran War. I have to admit, this conflict was, shockingly, not one I knew much about. It was not mentioned in my history clas ...more
Her work has been translated into over thirty languages and has appeared in various publications, including The New Yorker, Granta, The O. Henry Prize Stories, the Financial Times, and Zoetrope. She is the author of the novels Purple Hibiscus, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; Half of a Yellow Sun, which won t ...more