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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Baileys Prize Best of the Best

Winner of the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction 2007, this is a heartbreaking, exquisitely written literary masterpiece.

Ugwu, a boy from a poor village, works as a houseboy for a university professor. Olanna, a young woman, has abandoned her life of privilege in Lagos to live with her charismatic new lover, the professor. And Richard, a shy English writer, is in thrall to Olanna's enigmatic twin sister. As the horrific Biafran War engulfs them, they are thrown together and pulled apart in ways they had never imagined.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's masterpiece, winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction, is a novel about Africa in a wider sense: about the end of colonialism, ethnic allegiances, class and race - and about the ways in which love can complicate all of these things.

©2016 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"Vividly written, thrumming with life...a remarkable novel. In its compassionate intelligence as in its capacity for intimate portraiture, this novel is a worthy successor to such twentieth-century classics as Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart and V. S. Naipaul's A Bend in the River." (Joyce Carol Oates)
"Here is a new writer endowed with the gift of ancient storytellers." (Chinua Achebe)
"[Deserves] a place alongside such works as Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy and Helen Dunmore's depiction of the Leningrad blockade, The Siege." ( The Guardian)
"Heartbreaking, funny, exquisitely written and, without doubt, a literary masterpiece and a classic." ( Daily Mail)
"Stunning. This novel is an immense achievement." ( The Observer)

What listeners say about Half of a Yellow Sun

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Very well narrated

Good book and very well narrated, I really enjoyed the writing, but these characters were hard to love sometimes

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Zainab Jha ....my hero

I tried to watch the movie but zainab’s voice and role play really suited me better!,, And obviously no one could ever be so successful turning a beautiful book into a movie. For example my imagination of Olanna was so strikingly different than the olana in the movie..

Chimamanda is really one of my favorite authors right now. And I really hope zainab jha reads more books on audible I’m in love with her Nigerian accent. Please oh.

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The Best book by Chimamanda that I've read.

Surprising insiders view about this important historical event! Making the world hear what it must

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best literary experience of my life.

This book was out of this world amazing. upon finishing I was in disbelief that it ended and I whispered to myself "that was intense." I don't think I'll ever read anything that's better than this.

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Devastating and gorgeous

I felt that some of the characters were so real, so relatable, that I cried when the book ended and wanted to immediately reread it. I also felt the shame and guilt of being from the West and knowing nothing about this period of history or much of anything about post-colonial Africa.

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what a beautiful sad enthralling tale!

what a beautiful sad enthralling tale! I loved this book. it took me a long time to finally buy it- I'd had I was good, but I'm scared of sad stories. Now I'm glad I finally got around to read it. Excellent story telling Ms Adichie!

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Chimamanda is my favorite writer. Read every word!

what powerful women. After just finishing the CSW65 at the UN for the advancement of women's rights, the stories of these three characters are powerful lessons to learn from.

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The Failings of a Revolution

Great narrative of the realities of war, and the failings of a revolution. The foul language and explicit sex scenes did make for some awkward moments while listening with the kids.....; nothing that the fast-forward button couldn't take care of.

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Exceptional, heartfelt and authentic

Chimamanda's writing paired with Zainab Jah's performance created a perfect listening experience. Highly recommended.
Exceptional.

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civil war

interesting! looking at the war through an eyes of an insider. they are facts that have not been said... educative and entertaining.

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  • Robintrel
  • 06-27-21

Deeply moving

This is a beautifully written account of a turbulent time in Nigerian history and the impact on the lives of two sisters, their households and communities. It taught me much that I did not know. It is lengthy and often confronting, but it held me from the start. The narration was wonderful. It was a privilege to listen to this extraordinary work.

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  • JPR
  • 02-23-21

Well worth reading and brilliantly narrated!

The story of the effects of the Biafran War on ordinary people. I found the account of how lives were turned upside down by unwise idealists very moving. The novel was brought to life by the really brilliant narration who I give 5 stars plus! she was absolutely brilliant.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-12-20

Compelling extremely well written story

Story telling at its finest .
You felt you knew the characters personally and so became embroiled with them in their everyday lives and the impact on them of the devastating politics of the time and place.
I would recommend this book to everyone.
Easy to see why this was a prize winning author.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-18-20

absolutely immersive

amazing narration and storytelling, Chimamanda has a magic way with words. I took a while to get a handle on all the characters but it was worth it as the plot took off.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-22-20

Simply written, but lacking no heart.

A very special and engrossing exploration of a time and place most of us know nothing about.