2015 Shortlist



2015 Shortlist

Judges’ Comments

Americanah tells the story of a young Nigerian woman living in the US, blogging about all the most important things in life including belonging, race, and hair. Ngozi’s writing is funny and rich and the lives she portrays are ripe with contradiction, disharmony and the sheer mess of living. Admirably large in scope and ambition, this moving novel is also a great love story about two people, two cultures, two countries. Unputdownable.

About the Book

As teenagers in Lagos, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country if they can. The self-assured Ifemelu departs for America. There she suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Thirteen years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a blogger. But after so long apart and so many changes, will they find the courage to meet again, face to face? Fearless, gripping, spanning three continents and numerous lives, ‘Americanah’ is a richly told story of love and expectation set in today’s globalized world.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grew up in Nigeria. Her work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared in numerous publications. She is the author of the novels Purple Hibiscus, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Orange Prize and was a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, a New York Times Notable Book, and a People and Black Issues Book Review Best Book of the Year; and the story collection The Thing Around Your Neck, which was published to critical acclaim in 2009. Americanah, was published around the world in 2013, and has received numerous accolades, including winning the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and The Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Fiction; and being named one of The New York Times Ten Best Books of the Year. A recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, she divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.

Librarians’ Comments

Americanah is many things – social satire and commentary on issues of race and class, an immigrant’s story, and a love story. The characters are richly described and have a gentleness and morality about them. Americanah won the National book Critic’s Circle Award and was shortlisted for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction

A love story, an immigration story, and a portrait of race in America. Authentic and captivating.

A tale of two young lovers leaving their native Nigeria for different countries, for different reasons. Both grapple with prejudice, new challenges and hardship, yet this is a funny and passionate story.

Ifemelu, a bright, confident young Nigerian, leaves for America full of plans, only to be broken and rebuilt before she returns to Lagos to the boy she left behind. Brimming with wit, popular culture and wry observations about race, gender and class.

A punch on the subject of racism of today, conscious or not.

Adichie brings passion to her characters in this story of love, racism, assimilating to life in America, and trying to return home again. She writes a believable tale about real issues in an elegant fashion.

Americanah is a multi-layered story with overlapping themes of racial and national identity and contrasting cultural, political and social norms. The relationship between Ifemelu and Obinze shows how the values and lifestyles of the United States, Nigeria and Britain affect those who seek to find a sense of belonging. Americanah is elegantly written, each word being skillfully chosen to bring the reader into a story that gently questions assumptions about people and their connections to the world.

An exploration of what it means to be a person of color in America. This multi-generational take, spanning three continents is an illuminating look at race and class. It is deftly written with wit and well developed, genuine characters.

A mixture of humor, sharp observation, social commentary and a heart wrenching love story combine in this novel about the meaning of home.

A powerful discourse on race told in the experiences of Ifemelu, a young Nigerian woman studying in America, who strives to understand racial concerns between blacks and whites which are new her.

THE AUTHOR Chimamanda
Ngozi Adichie


Fourth Estate


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