Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half Of A Yellow Sun is a wrenching novel about love, disappointment, forgiveness and the unbearable emptiness of loss. Set during the 1960’s, the story details Biafra’s struggle to establish an independent republic in Nigeria. The novel gives the reader a glimpse into the politics which created Nigeria’s civil war. Adichie’s simple and eloquent language reveals the vivid, stark images of Nigeria’s cities, people and bush villages. Ugwu, Olanna, Odenigbo, Richard and Kainene are just some of the characters who people this novel – complex, rich and unforgettable they show us what it is like to be vulnerable and human during a time of uncertainty.
This is not a ‘feel good’ novel – instead it stuns the reader with the horrifying images of a brutal war and reminds us that in the end, despite cultural and religious and race differences, we are all just people struggling to anchor our lives with others.
Half Of A Yellow Sun is a literary masterpiece that has earned its place on the New York Times Most Notable Ficiton of 2007.
Excerpts from the book:
“It’s not for him, you know. It’s for you.”
“What?” He was still sitting, so she looked down to meet his eyes.
“Don’t see it as forgiving him. See it as allowing yourself to be happy. What will you do with the misery you have chosen? Will you eat misery?”
“Do you know waht I mean?” Kainene asked.
About the horrors of war…
“I don’t see your point,” Kainene said.
“The white man brought racism into the world. He used it as a basis of conquest. It is always easier to conquer a more humane people.”
“So when we conquer the Nigerians we will be the less humane?” Kainene asked.
Odenigbo said nothing.
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