When Ifemelu, a main character in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah, suggests that novels can be about "more than one thing," she could easily be describing the story in which she plays a primary part. Americanah is at once a romance, a coming-of-age journey, an immigrant's tale, and a searing social commentary. It is rich with life and abundant in precise detail about the human experience. Adiche's first two novels unfold in Nigeria (the second novel Half of a Yellow Sun won the Orange Prize in 2007) but Americanah cuts new ground. Set in America, England, and Nigeria, it is broad in scope and analysis. Adichie's power of descriptive detail and character development are on full display. Though the novel occasionally unfurls into raw social commentary, the primary story of Ifemelu's quest for self is beautiful and captivating.
The story opens with Ifemelu at the brink of leaving ...
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