Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Mixed Media
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This novel explores a host of issues such as race, class, gender, and immigration from two sides of the globe. When teenager Ifemelu leaves Nigeria and her first love, Obinze, to study in the U.S., she is confounded by the reality of America, with its undecipherable cultural cues, unrelenting emphasis on race, and the lack of opportunity for her to work with dignity.

After a gut-wrenching beginning, Ifemelu eventually finds her feet, dating American men, furthering her academic and cultural education, and gaining fame as a blogger on the subject of race. When she feels Nigeria (and Obinze) calling her back, she returns to her homeland with the changed perspectives and values of an expatriate. Though some readers may find Americanah a bit too didactic and sexually detailed, it provides food for thought and fuel for discussion on the complexities of race in a global society. (Knopf)

About the Author

Sandy Swartzentruber serves as the resource coordinator for Faith Formation Ministries and is a member of Sherman Street CRC in Grand Rapids, Mich.