As demonstrated by Franny’s beautiful and dedicated reviews on this very blog, the talent in the shortlist for the Baileys Prize this year is incredible. I have to admit I was excited enough when I saw the judging panel, but the sheer quality of the novels this year has been amazing.
What a treat then, on a Tuesday evening, to get to sit in an auditorium (reportedly with RYAN REYNOLDS – though an unconfirmed sighting) and listen to these six incredible women read a section from their respective novels. Well, actually, five incredible women, and one slightly bewildered Charles Dance, reading in place of the absent Tartt and declaring that he had ‘never felt so conspicuous’. Franny and Perks were lucky enough to nab tickets to this wonderful event and what a pleasure it was.
As a huge fan of Half of a YellowSun, I approached Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s latest book with admittedly high expectations, but reading the opening pages immediately felt like slipping back into a familiar world. Adichie’s hyper-sensitive descriptions indulged every sense so, despite the fact that I had never visited Africa, let alone Nigeria, I embraced the setting as if it were my own, tasting the Nigeria in which Americanah‘s protagonists, Ifemelu and Obinze, begin their lives. For a novel where location has an incredibly profound effect on lives, there could not be a more suited author. Adichie’s narrative is beautifully absorbing and richly challenging – a book that is clearly of the world, spanning across three continents, but also for the world, fearlessly addressing love, race, politics and selfhood. Continue reading Americanah – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie→