Half of A Yellow Sun

Half of A Yellow Sun

Book - 2006
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A masterly, haunting new novel from a writer heralded by The Washington Post Book World as "the 21st-century daughter of Chinua Achebe," Half of a Yellow Sun re-creates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in Nigeria in the 1960s, and the chilling violence that followed.

With astonishing empathy and the effortless grace of a natural storyteller, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie weaves together the lives of three characters swept up in the turbulence of the decade. Thirteen-year-old Ugwu is employed as a houseboy for a university professor full of revolutionary zeal. Olanna is the professor's beautiful mistress, who has abandoned her life of privilege in Lagos for a dusty university town and the charisma of her new lover. And Richard is a shy young Englishman in thrall to Olanna's twin sister, an enigmatic figure who refuses to belong to anyone. As Nigerian troops advance and the three must run for their lives, their ideals are severely tested, as are their loyalties to one another.

Epic, ambitious, and triumphantly realized, Half of a Yellow Sun is a remarkable novel about moral responsibility, about the end of colonialism, about ethnic allegiances, about class and race--and the ways in which love can complicate them all. Adichie brilliantly evokes the promise and the devastating disappointments that marked this time and place, bringing us one of the most powerful, dramatic, and intensely emotional pictures of modern Africa that we have ever had.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2006.
Edition: 1st North American ed.
ISBN: 9781400044160
Branch Call Number: F Adic
Characteristics: 435 p. ; 25 cm.


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Apr 07, 2018

This was second Adichie read. It was an emotionally tough novel to get through; however worthwhile to read as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writes beautifully - agha ajoka (war is very ugly).

Mar 01, 2018

Nowadays, I am having a hard time reading novels: too slow, too long, too repetitive, too much sex.
"Half of a yellow sun" explores interesting topics: Nigerian civil war, colonial politics, etc. But I think it could be shorter. :)

Feb 12, 2018

Adichie does such a compelling job developing her characters and making them seem so real. Also a great insight into the Civil War in the 1960s in Nigeria that I knew nothing about.

SPPL_Therese Feb 09, 2018

This was a wonderful book. It was captivating and informative, with a gripping plot and well-developed, interesting characters.

AL_ANNAL Feb 04, 2018

Beautifully written tale of three people living the hope and disappointment amid the attempt to create a Biafran state in 1960's Nigeria.

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.

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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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