Chimamanda Adichie’s Americanah has been chosen by the New York Times’ staff book pundits as one of “15 astounding books by ladies that are forming the way we read and compose fiction in the 21st century.”
This rundown of fiction books, every one of which includes a woman at its inside, was aggregated to check Women’s History Month.
According to the New York Times,
“The books steering literature in new directions — to new forms, new concerns — almost invariably have a woman at the helm, an Elena Ferrante, a Rachel Cusk, a Zadie Smith.
For Women’s History Month, The Times’s staff book critics — Dwight Garner, Jennifer Szalai and myself, Parul Sehgal — sat down together to think about these writers who are opening new realms to us, whose books suggest and embody unexplored possibilities in form, feeling and knowledge.
As we put together a reading list, we introduced a few parameters, for sanity’s sake. We confined ourselves to books written by women and published in the 21st century. And we limited our focus to fiction, but not without some grief.”
Americanah’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
If you were paying attention, you might have seen this book coming. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s first novel, “Purple Hibiscus,” was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Her second, “Half of a Yellow Sun,” won the Orange Prize. In 2008, she was awarded a MacArthur “genius” grant. But “Americanah” more than paid off on this writer’s promise. It’s a resonant and fiercely intellectual novel about a Nigerian woman named Ifemelu who leaves Africa for America and suffers here before starting a blog called “Raceteenth or Various Observations About American Blacks (Those Formerly Known as Negroes) by a Non-American Black” and winning a fellowship at Princeton. Adichie works both high and low; she’s as adept at dissecting internet and hair salon culture as she is at parsing the overlapping and ever-changing meanings of class and race in the United States. “Americanah” brings news, on many fronts, about how a new generation of immigrants is making its way in the world. It has lessons for every human about how to live.
– Dwight Garner