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Publisher's Summary

With effortless grace, celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie illuminates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in Southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s. We experience this tumultuous decade alongside five unforgettable characters: Ugwu, a 13-year-old houseboy who works for Odenigbo, a university professor full of revolutionary zeal; Olanna, the professor's beautiful young mistress who has abandoned her life in Lagos for a dusty town and her lover's charm; and Richard, a shy young Englishman infatuated with Olanna's willful twin sister, Kainene. Half of a Yellow Sun is a tremendously evocative novel of the promise, hope, and disappointment of the Biafran war.

©2017 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (P)2017 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"This prize-winning author's place in literary history is secured with [Half of a Yellow Sun], a tribute to her people, the Igbo, who after being massacred in 1966 broke away from Nigeria to create the Republic of Biafra. [But] this novel is not a standard war account: Though we are not sheltered from its horrors, Adichie excels in the way she tells about war.... Her characters' strengths are in their complexity and their flaws.... Throughout the story, Adichie insists on accountability and then forgiveness as the only option for redemption.... By the end, after breaking our hearts, she uses her last sentence to blindside us with a gift. We never see it coming. With it, she offers hope in the future." (Marie-Elena John, Black Issues)
"[It's] hard not to place Adichie alongside a new generation of post-postcolonial writers who, while paying due respect to Achebe (and, for that matter, Kincaid, Naipaul, Gordimer, and Coetzee), are moving beyond them on their own terms.... Adichie's nuanced prose takes great pains to undo the reductive attitudes many in the West harbor toward African people.... And yet Adichie does not rant against the West.... [Criticism] and compassion coexist. She understands that it takes many hands to shape war.... For Adichie, pain unifies us, and it's often that same pain that keeps us from recognizing that unity.... Adichie's novel [has], a narrative humility coupled with an epic ambition.... Are there any easy answers in [Half of a Yellow Sun]? Certainly not. But Adichie, in the process, asks the hell out of her questions, rendering them in all their haunting, beautiful silence." (Stephen Narains, Harvard Book Review)

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  • COLEMAN
  • bothell, washington United States
  • 10-11-17

Riveting Story!

The story is about the Biafran War (The Nigerian Civil War) through the dynamic relationships of five people’s lives including twin daughters of an influential Businessman, a University professor, a British citizen, and a Houseboy. It's an engrossing combination of history, love, the complexity of relationships and human behavior in wartime. Powerful read!

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wonderful, educational narrative

both the author and the narrator have true gifts for story telling. I particularly liked learning about a civil war and country I had never heard of before. I feel inspired to educate myself much more!