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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Will Release 3rd Novel - Titled 'Americanah' - In May 2013 (Details)

by Tambay A. Obenson
October 22, 2012 7:50 PM
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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

It's not necessarily cinema-related, but the author is someone whose name and work have been mentioned several times here on S&A (including her now very famous and influential TED talk - The Danger of a Single Story - which many of us continue to quote from in conversations about black/African cinema).

By all accounts, she's become something of a superstar, and has transcended the literary universe (even though I wouldn't call her a household name yet).

Of course I'm referring to multiple award-winning Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who shot to prominence with her novels, Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun (which is being adapted to film with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Anika Noni Rose, John Boyega and others starring; a project, you'll recall, caused quite a stir around the blogosphere, when Newton was cast to play an Igbo woman).

Fans of Adichie will be thrilled to know that, based on information I received this evening, Adichie is set to release her third novel, titled Americanah, on May 14, 2013, published by Knopf.

The synopsis for the 352-page hardcover reads as follows:

A story of love and race centred around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home. As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country if they can. Ifemelu—beautiful, self-assured—departs for America to study. She suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships and friendships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze—the quiet, thoughtful son of a professor—had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. But when Ifemelu returns to Nigeria, and she and Obinze reignite their shared passion—for their homeland and for each other—they will face the toughest decisions of their lives. Fearless, gripping, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story of love and expectation set in today’s globalized world.

Needless to say, I'm intrigued. It sounds, dare I say, epic!

As an FYI, the term 'Americanah' is a derogatory word used in Nigeria to label other Nigerians who have become too *Americanized.*

Apparently Adichie read from the novel, while it was in progress, at Havard University, in April, earlier this year. Anyone happen to attend?

May 2013 might seem like a long time away, but it really isn't. Those who have yet to read any of her work, you have about 7 months to play catch-up. Both Purple Hibiscus and Half Of A Yellow Sun are available widely.

Who knows... there might be another film adaptation of one of her novels, and it just might be titled Americanah.

And if you haven't see her rousing Danger Of A Single Story TED talk, watch it all below:

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  • freddy | November 6, 2012 7:54 PMReply

    americanah is not a derogatory word in nigeria. who writes these articles. smh!!

  • FREDDY | November 9, 2012 6:08 PM

    Ok i see you wrote it. nice article but "americanah" is more of a playful tease just like someone has already stated, below. I grew up in Nigeria, so I am pretty sure it is not a derogatory word. Also, it seems a lot of people are not aware that a small portion of this novel have previously appeared as a short story "Ceiling" which appeared in Granta. Ceiling was also published in THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 2010

  • Tambay | November 6, 2012 8:18 PM

    The name of the writer is at the top of the post, to answer your question. So you're telling me that it's a term of endearment? And those who are called "Americanah" love being called that? My mother is Nigerian by the way.

  • Troy Johnson | October 30, 2012 9:44 AMReply

    I forgot all about this site :-(
    I rediscovered it as the Ebony web site referenced this page in their coverage of Adichie's latest book. I would never have found this article via search -- those days are seemingly over. Interlinking between like minded and independent websites (the way we used to do it) will become increasing important and necessary to be discovered.

  • IDEASmi | October 30, 2012 6:28 AMReply

    I can't be more proud of this compatriot of mine. She IS a household name in Nigeria, and not only that, a role model too.

    If not for anyone, for me. I'm still new to writing (barely holding a wattpad account), but I tell you- Chimamanda and her flair for literature contributes to 80% of the originality I can attest for in every single story (unpublished) I've ever written about Nigerians.

    Can't wait to see what Americanah has in store for me.

    *Good to include London*

  • Nikki | October 27, 2012 8:28 PMReply

    I was at the Harvard reading. The section she read was very humorous...a true outsiders perspective of the dumb things some ignorant Americans say and do-which shapes the way the rest of the world views us: arrogant and uninformed. It will be an excellent novel because she demands it of herself. I agree she is now only well-known by Americans who are avid readers of literary fiction (most best-seller bibliophiles don't know who she is and neither do some well-read professors of English that I've encountered). I think this might be the novel that gives her that household name recognition in the U.S.

  • Troy Johnson | October 30, 2012 9:39 AM

    I would not describe a professor of English as "well read" who does not know Adichie's work.

  • KCN | October 24, 2012 8:25 PMReply

    You wouldn't call her a household name? Well, depends which households you're looking in! :)

  • Dizzle | October 23, 2012 11:12 PMReply

    I wouldn't say it is a derogatory word as much as it's just a playful tease.

  • NinaG | October 23, 2012 2:05 AMReply

    Marked on my calendar!

  • No | October 22, 2012 9:36 PMReply

    Correction: "Half of a Yellow Sun" is A great novel. I look forward to any new endeavor by her.

  • No | October 22, 2012 9:28 PMReply

    "Half of a Yellow Sun" is great novel. I look forward to any new endeavor by her.

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