Half of A Yellow Sun

Half of A Yellow Sun

eBook - 2006
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With her award-winning debut novel, Purple Hibiscus, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was heralded by the Washington Post Book World as the "21st century daughter" of Chinua Achebe. Now, in her masterly, haunting new novel, she recreates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in Nigeria during the 1960s.

With the effortless grace of a natural storyteller, Adichie weaves together the lives of five characters caught up in the extraordinary tumult of the decade. Fifteen-year-old Ugwu is houseboy to Odenigbo, a university professor who sends him to school, and in whose living room Ugwu hears voices full of revolutionary zeal. Odenigbo's beautiful mistress, Olanna, a sociology teacher, is running away from her parents' world of wealth and excess; Kainene, her urbane twin, is taking over their father's business; and Kainene's English lover, Richard, forms a bridge between their two worlds. As we follow these intertwined lives through a military coup, the Biafran secession and the subsequent war, Adichie brilliantly evokes the promise, and intimately, the devastating disappointments that marked this time and place.
Epic, ambitious and triumphantly realized, Half of a Yellow Sun is a more powerful, dramatic and intensely emotional picture of modern Africa than any we have had before.

From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2006
ISBN: 9780307373540
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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Barbarajean Dec 14, 2017

This novel was one of the best I read all year, and in my opinion ranks up there with books like "A Fine Balance," as one of the best novels of the last 20 years. It takes place in Nigeria during one of its darkest periods, the war against the break-away state of Biafra, which caused one of the most horrific man-made famines of the 20th century. The book is compelling, the characters are memorable, and the writing is wonderful.

Oct 10, 2016

Sweeping, moving, and impressive novel about the Nigerian Civil War, something I knew nothing about. The book follows 5 major characters (2 sisters, their lovers, and a servant) as they navigate the tumultous political waters of late 1960s Nigeria. While it's a long-ish novel, once you get into it, it flies by. This is only Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's second novel and she's not even 40 yet. She also wrote "Americanah" and "We Should All Be Feminists." This could be the "Things Fall Apart" of the new century.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 05, 2016

This is such an evocative and poetic novel. The language, the story, the characters, the setting—this is nearly a perfect novel. I was truly engaged and greatly informed.

Mar 11, 2016

Interesting introduction to a war I know little about

BPLpicks Nov 11, 2015

This book was just recently awarded with a "Best of the Best" from the Bailey's Women's Prize for fiction. It was voted as being the best of all of the Bailey's prize winning books for the last decade.

Nov 10, 2015

Excellent read from start to finish. Characters well drawn and I cared about them all. Learned more about life in Nigeria and Biafra during troubled times.

Jun 10, 2015

Adichie is a force to be reckoned with. Her narrative engulfs you with characters and stories so raw, so visceral, you find yourself invested almost immediately. This book was so captivating, I devoured it. Highly recommended.

Apr 26, 2015

Enjoyed this much more than Purple Hibiscus. Wonderful!

Dec 03, 2014

What a writer! Adichie's book reads like a warmer, more interesting and graspable Nigerian Dostoyevsky or Tolstoy novel. Her characters and narrative are absolutely vivid, believable, and likeable. We care about them and their struggle from the first page. What an insight into human nature, the futile tragedy of the Biafran war, and Nigerian culture. This book is sadly for adults due to the full-fleshed sexuality of its characters, or else I'd have my middle schooler reading it right away. But absolutely fantastic for high schoolers and up. What a writer! Easily comparable to the great Russian novelists. Can't wait to see if her other works are as amazing.

Nov 10, 2014

I like to read books that take place in countries that I'm not very familiar with, because after reading them, I feel I have a connection to that place. This is one of those books. It takes place in Nigeria - and Biafra, a republic that broke off from Nigeria in the 1960s. The story follows a few strong characters through good times and bad. The war narrative can sometimes be tough to read, but in the end, you won't soon forget about the people and the land of the Half of a Yellow Sun.

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Library_Liz Dec 08, 2016

“The new Nigerian upper class is a collection of illiterates who read nothing and eat food they dislike at overpriced Lebanese restaurants and have social conversations around one subject: ‘How’s the new car behaving?’”

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

This was love: a string of coincidences that gathered significance and became miracles.

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Library_Liz Dec 08, 2016

Library_Liz thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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Blackjack_1 Jul 11, 2011

This profoundly gripping story takes place as the Igbo people try to form the independent nation of Biafra during the 1960s. Yes, you will read what you would expect to read when the word “Biafra” is mentioned: famine and war. But if you turned away before reading this amazing book, you would miss the story of Olanna and her sister, Kainene. You would miss learning about the cultures of eastern Africa from the poorest villagers to the wealthy landowners and the intellectual elite. This story transcends its setting by an author who lets you into the lives and relationships of the families and in so doing, you learn more about the human condition even in inhuman times. One of the most interesting characters is scarcely mentioned as the story begins – Ugwu, the 13-year old houseboy – but through his eyes you see how he rises from insignificance to one of the main characters. Everything in this story is believable and compelling; a real tour de force!


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