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Nigeria in 2015 > Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | June Featured Author

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message 1: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (last edited Jan 26, 2015 07:11AM) (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
Adichie is a very successful and prominent contemporary author from Nigeria. I hope we do read one of her books together this year, but this thread is for "free reads" of her work.

Here is her website:
http://chimamanda.com/

and as others have pointed out in other threads, she has a new short story available online:
https://medium.com/matter/olikoye-b02...


message 2: by Marcy (new)

Marcy (marshein) | 17 comments I thought Half a Yellow Sun was outstanding. But I started reading Purple Hibiscus and couldn't deal with the domestic abuse; it's relentlessly horrible.


message 3: by Laura (new)

Laura | 262 comments Ive read all of her works so far. Ive absolutely loved all of them. A five star writer. I tried to access the link below but doesnt work - will try her website


message 4: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
Huh. I'm sorry about the link! I will take care of that.


message 5: by Laura (new)

Laura | 262 comments It's ok I found it on the Internet. It's short but good. I can't wait for her next novel!


message 6: by Laura (new)

Laura | 262 comments It's ok I found it on the Internet. It's short but good. I can't wait for her next novel!


message 7: by Larry (new)

Larry | 26 comments Marcy, I understand your discomfort about the abuse but the novel is certainly worth the reading. I have read all of her books and have never been disappointed.


message 8: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
I haven't read her newest, but I've read all the others. Purple Hibiscus was the first one I read. I thought it was incredibly powerful and it's quite amazing someone so young wrote such a book. But it is difficult and harrowing; I can certainly understand your discomfort, Marcy.


message 9: by Marcy (new)

Marcy (marshein) | 17 comments I used to read books like that all the time, but I've sworn them off in recent years; won't see movies about slavery or the holocaust anymore either. It's not like I don't know all about these things; I've read and seen my share. Enough!


message 10: by Laura (new)

Laura | 262 comments Marcy, a totally acceptable decision. Some of the stories are truly painful.


message 11: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
Yes, I have also suffered burnout with several difficult topics.


message 12: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 543 comments I too have read and read books with difficult subjects as it seems a lot of literary fiction deals with difficult topics.
But I have learned to incorporate a couple of things that makes it a little easier for me.

If reading a book with a difficult subject, I make sure it is not the last book I read before going to sleep (really do not want those subjects the last thing on my mind). I will read something lighter or less troubling before going to sleep.

Also once I finish a book with a difficult subject, the next book I read is what my friends and I call "palate cleaners" or "EPO" (Entertainment Purposes Only) to help clear our minds. For me that is usually romances or mysteries (cozy mystery).

And there have been times when if the actions are too painful/detailed, I will skim past those pages.


message 13: by Liralen (new)

Liralen | 180 comments Mod
I've done the same thing -- last(?) year I went through a period where I'd just had enough of reading about genocide and other forms of violence for the time being...and I remember reading The World According to Garp and needing to read several very light, very fluffy YA books immediately after as a sort of brain cleanser.

I appreciate the warnings about Purple Hibiscus, by the way; I'll still read it (eventually), but always better to go in with a bit of forewarning.


message 14: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
i think the link to her new short story works now.

I havent read the story or this criticism of it yet, but thought I'd share anyway. the title of the article is provocative:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2...


message 15: by Marcy (new)

Marcy (marshein) | 17 comments Interesting thread about painful/difficult reading. For me Garp actually would've been a "palate cleanser"! so you can see I've read my share of heavy topics.


message 16: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 543 comments Marieke wrote: "i think the link to her new short story works now.

I havent read the story or this criticism of it yet, but thought I'd share anyway. the title of the article is provocative:

http://www.slate.com..."


Thanks for sharing this article.

I had to smile after reading as I thought that fiction in many ways and many times is propaganda.

I had read the short story and noticed at the bottom the purpose of the story and why commissioned.


message 17: by Laura (new)

Laura | 262 comments I'm so glad you posted your comments about violence and difficult reading. So much of the books we read seem to be so painful and I too have had a serious thought about why I need to come back to them so often. But yes, my strategy has also changed and I'm interspersing some romance /thrillers/ easy reading before I tackle some harder topics. I've just finished What is the what and in the end I found it very inspiring.

Re Adichie, the story is good and for a good cause. She was commissioned this work by the Gates Foundation - I truly think it should be considered more of a 'raising awareness' tool than anything else.


message 18: by Marcy (new)

Marcy (marshein) | 17 comments In the library today I discovered Half of a Yellow Sun was made into a movie last year! I took it out, wondering how they could possibly cover the breadth and depth of this book in 2 hours. Well, they cut out a lot and raced through events at breakneck speed--if I hadn't read the book I'm certain I would've been clueless, wouldn't have known what was going on. It would've been better to leave the book alone, IMO.

Lately I've felt that movies do a much better job adapting books than they used to. Not in this case.


message 19: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
That's disappointing to hear, Marcy. I've wanted to see the film. It's an all-Nigerian production, not Hollywood at all, which is neat. And Adichie was involved with it. It was even censored before its release. I wonder if things got cut by the censor that would have made a difference? Or if anything was cut at all. I'm not sure if actual cutting occurred.


message 20: by Friederike (new)

Friederike Knabe (fknabe) | 162 comments I loved Half a Yellow Sun. It is still vivid in my mind and I put off watching the movie, I understand that in the end some scenes were cut out for the (delayed) Nigerian release. A dichte argued forcefully that the events of the Biafra War could and should not be whitewashed.

Have any of you read her story collection The Thing Around Your Neck ? I can recommend it highly.


message 21: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 543 comments Friederike wrote: "I loved Half a Yellow Sun. It is still vivid in my mind and I put off watching the movie, I understand that in the end some scenes were cut out for the (delayed) Nigerian release. A dichte argued f..."

I too have put off watching the movie as I loved the book so much. But I am almost "disappointed" in the book to movie translation. I know that often times the movie has a different purpose than the book and for me what I liked in the book often does not get emphasized in the movie.

I am planning to watch it soon as I see it is available from one of my library online sources.


message 22: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 543 comments Friederike wrote: "I loved Half a Yellow Sun. It is still vivid in my mind and I put off watching the movie, I understand that in the end some scenes were cut out for the (delayed) Nigerian release. A dichte argued f..."

Yes, I have read The Thing Around Your Neck.

I am not much of a short story writer but as Adichie is one of my fav authors I read and finished the collection and there were several stories I really liked.

I think this short story collection can be seen as a bridge from her Nigerian based stories to Americanah (which does start and end in Nigeria - but makes stops in England and America).


message 23: by Aki (new)

Aki (akiishihara) | 6 comments I haven't watched the movie yet, but I remember Adichie herself talked about this movie on a CNN or BBC interview that it's quite different from her original book in a way that the movie's main focus is on the part of romances, while the book is more about other matters. The movie version is mostly just a work of love affairs than a historical fiction (so the Nigerian authority should not be afraid of its release).


message 24: by Laura (new)

Laura | 262 comments Friederike wrote: "I loved Half a Yellow Sun. It is still vivid in my mind and I put off watching the movie, I understand that in the end some scenes were cut out for the (delayed) Nigerian release. A dichte argued f..."

Yes, her stories are truly gems and a pleasure to read. I agree with you that the stories here are a kind of bridge between her American and Nigerian experiences. Moreover, they are full of hope. Am currently reading Teju Cole's Everyday is for the thief. Someone commented that they were originally posted in blog format. I think they integrate well with Adichie's short stories. I wonder if the two know each other. Maybe naive on my part but I wonder if they exchanged notes


message 25: by Aki (new)

Aki (akiishihara) | 6 comments Laura wrote: "Friederike wrote: "I loved Half a Yellow Sun. It is still vivid in my mind and I put off watching the movie, I understand that in the end some scenes were cut out for the (delayed) Nigerian release..."

I finished "Every day is for the thief" just last week. I liked it, though I got an impression that the stories he shares in the book are very biased in a westernized/Americanized way, which is, of course, very apparent in Adichie's works. I once wondered the Nigerian writer she mentions in "Americanah" could be him.


message 26: by Marcy (new)

Marcy (marshein) | 17 comments The movie did stress the romances and the sister relationship, but really nothing was well developed. I suspected beforehand, because it seemed so much to put into a movie. I wouldn't have even known it was about the Biafran/Nigeria war.


message 27: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
how was the cinematography in the film? i'm at least as excited to see that as i am (was?) to see the story come to life.


message 28: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
i just read Olikoye (finally) and although it was nicely written and is for a good cause, i don't think it's as strong as her other writing. it really felt to me like something written to fulfill an assignment. :/


message 29: by Marcy (new)

Marcy (marshein) | 17 comments Marieke wrote: "how was the cinematography in the film? i'm at least as excited to see that as i am (was?) to see the story come to life."

I'm not that well versed in technique, but the scenes of evacuation were good, much of the rest was confusing.


message 30: by Beth (new)

Beth (eparks4232) | 51 comments Marieke wrote: "Adichie is a very successful and prominent contemporary author from Nigeria. I hope we do read one of her books together this year, but this thread is for "free reads" of her work.

Here is her web..."


Read Half of a Yellow Sun last year and loved it; am 90% of the way through Americanah and am loving it as well. Trying to find a way to make room to read The Thing Around Your Neck, since I only have it on paper and not in audio, but definintely feel very motivated to read more of her work.


message 31: by Larry (new)

Larry | 26 comments The cinematography was fine, but the story was typical Nollywood. The first half was about infidelity and the second half was a half baked confusing outbreak of the war.


message 32: by Larry (new)

Larry | 26 comments Larry wrote: "The cinematography and acting was fine, but the movie was typical Nollywood. The first half was about infidelity and the second half was a half baked confusing recounting of the war. The book was quite accurate and straight forward and the reader had no problem in following developments. If one is not familiar of the details of Nigeria politics and strife at the time, it is a confusing movie. The book is far superior.


message 33: by Larry (new)

Larry | 26 comments Marieka, You will enjoy the stories in The Thing Around Your Neck.


message 34: by JenniferD (new)

JenniferD (booktrovert) Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is one of my favourite writers. the only work i have not read is The Thing Around Your Neck, but i do own it.

in order, i read: Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, then Americanah. for me, the books got stronger and more impressive as they went along. 'americanah' was the true stand-out of the three, though i did like them all.


message 35: by Ming (new)

Ming | 2 comments I cannot say enough good about her. Americanah is amazing.

Two speeches reveal different aspects of her.

(1) a speech at the University of Nairobi. She's intimate and warm.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i0nnD...

(2) a speech at the Commonwealth Foundation about "realist fiction." However, the most powerful segments were her take on colonialism, and especially British colonialism and its effects.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmsYJ...


message 36: by Marieke, Former guide & Chief Chatterbox (new)

Marieke | 2838 comments Mod
I loved That Thing Around Your Neck! And I'm not normally much of a short story reader. I still haven't read Americanah. But i have it on hold at my library. :)

Thank you for the links, Ming. These speeches of hers are new to me!


message 37: by Susan (new)

Susan McIntyre Her writing is beautiful. I'm currently reading Half of a Yellow Sun, and recently read Americanah. It's difficult to read about war , and I find myself putting the book down often, but it's history and she's helping us understand Nigeria.


message 38: by Nina (new)

Nina Chachu | 205 comments For Adichie fans, here is a recent short story, which appeared in the "New Yorker" http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/201...


message 39: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 543 comments Time magazine released its annual list of the "100 Most Influential People in the World." With just two authors showcased, the book world was underrepresented compared to last year's seven people, but the 2015 choices are excellent nonetheless:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Radhika Jones wrote: "Adichie writes of the complex aftermath of Nigeria's colonial history and her nation's rise to prominence in an era when immigration to the West no longer means a one-way ticket. With her viral TEDxEuston talk, 'We Should All Be Feminists,' she found her voice as cultural critic. (You can hear it rising midway through Beyoncé's woman-power anthem 'Flawless.') She sets her love stories amid civil war (Half of a Yellow Sun) and against a backdrop of racism and migration (Americanah). But her greatest power is as a creator of characters who struggle profoundly to understand their place in the world."


message 40: by Pragya (new)

Pragya  (reviewingshelf) I haven't read any books by the author so far even though they have been on my TBR. I brought back Americanah from the library, so hopefully will read it soon.


message 41: by Zanna (new)

Zanna (zannastar) | 191 comments Beverly thanks for sharing!

Nina thanks for sharing! Love the story!


message 42: by Valerie (last edited Aug 09, 2017 08:34AM) (new)

Valerie Marieke wrote: "That's disappointing to hear, Marcy. I've wanted to see the film. It's an all-Nigerian production, not Hollywood at all, which is neat. And Adichie was involved with it. It was even censored before..."

I realize that this is an old thread, but thought I'd chime in as I was an extra in the movie! It was a Nollywood and Hollywood dual effort (the sisters are played by Thandie Newton and Anika Noni Rose, and all of the crew were foreign people, and Richard was played by an actor who went on to be in Game of Thrones). They definitely cut a lot of the film, at least from what I saw. I think there ended up being too many story lines and not enough time, so they decided to focus it in on the romance. A bit disappointing, but I think still worth watching. I love getting to see footage of where I used to live!


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