Thursday, 25 August 2016

click / read if u wanna be enriched by a cool novel

I don't even know where to start with this. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has to be one of the most amazing pieces of art to ever come out of the 21st century. Actually forget that, Adichie herself is such a gifted and inspiring writer that cannot go unshared or unheard of on this blog.


*appreciation selfie.* i don't usually stick my tongue out in photos but i guess you can see how excited i am about sharing this ~~~amazing~~~ book with you??

Anyway, Americanah is a book that centres mainly around two characters, Ifemelu and Obinze. They are two teenagers who grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, who fall in love. Around this time, Nigeria is under military dictatorship and many people are leaving the country if they can, and because their education is disrupted, Ifemelu leaves for America to study.

Obinze struggles to join her and lives an undocumented, troubling life in London. Years later, he returns to a newly democratic Nigeria, a wealthy man with a beautiful family.

During her time in America, Ifemelu achieves success as a writer of a blog about race in America. This was my favourite aspect of the novel. Throughout the story that flashes between various moments in Ifemelu's life in America, Obinze's life in England, and memories of the past,  a blog post is featured somewhere in between.

Growing up in Nigeria, Ifemelu never felt the weight of 'race'. Being "black" didn't mean anything specific until she came to America, and this is something that Adichie shows so so well.
Everything about this book is relevant and real. It is so refreshing and informative and I strongly believe it is a novel that everyone should read, especially in today's society.

Because they are my favourite parts of the novel, I am going to share some quotations from some of Ifemelu's blog posts!


_____________________________________________________________________________


1. Understanding America for the Non-American Black:
American Tribalism.

"In America, tribalism is alive and well. There are four kinds - class, ideology, region, and race. First, class. Pretty easy. Rich folk and poor folk. Second, ideology. Liberals and conservatives. Third, region. The North and the South. Finally, race. There's a ladder of racial hierarchy in America. White is always on top, specifically White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, otherwise known as WASP, and American Black is always on the bottom, and what's in the middle depends on time and place. (Or as that marvellous rhyme goes: if you're white, you're all right; if you're brown, stick around; if you're black, get back!)..."

*

I really liked this one!
*

3. Why Dark-Skinned Black Women - 
Both American and Non-American - Love Barack Obama

"...So light skin is valued in the community of American blacks. But everyone pretends this is no longer so. They say the days of the paper-bag test (look this up) are gone and let's move forward."

"...And this is the reason dark women love Barack Obama. He broke the mold! He married one of their own. He knows what the world doesn't seem to know: that dark black women totally rock. They want Obama to win because maybe finally somebody will cast a beautiful chocolate babe in a big-budget rom-com that opens in theatres all over the country, not just three artsy theatres in New York City. ... In movies, dark black women get to be the fat nice mammy or the strong, sassy, sometimes scary sidekick standing by supportively. They get to dish out wisdom and attitude while the white woman finds love." 

*

4. Travelling While Black

"A friend of a friend, a cool AB* (this means American Black btw!) with tons of money, is writing a book called Travelling While Black. Not just black, he says, but recognisably black because there's all kinds of black and no offence but he doesn't mean those black folk who look Puerto Rican or Brazilian or whatever, he means recognisably black. Because the world treats you differently."

"...They tell you in the guidebooks what to expect if you're gay or if you're a woman. Hell, they need to do it for if you're recognisably black. Let travelling black folk know what the deal is."

*

5. What Academics Mean by White Privilege, or Yes It Sucks 
to Be Poor and White but Try Being Poor and Non-White 

"So this guy said to Professor Hunk, "White privilege is nonsense. How can I be privileged? I grew up fucking poor in West Virginia. I'm an Appalachian hick. My family is on welfare. Right. But privilege is always relative to something else. ... The Appalachian hick guy is fucked up, which is not cool, but if he were black, he'd be fucked up plus."

"He also said to Professor Hunk: Why must we always talk about race anyway? Can't we just be human beings? And Professor Hunk replied - that is exactly what white privilege is, that you can say that. Race doesn't really exist for you because it has never been a barrier. Black folks don't have that choice. The black guy on the street in New York doesn't want to think about race, until he tries to hail a cab, and he doesn't want to think about race when he's driving his Mercedes under the speed limit, until a cop pulls him over. So the Appalachian hick guy doesn't have class privilege but he sure as hell has race privilege."

_____________________________________________________________________________

I deeply hope you enjoy reading those! (pls give 'em a read, don't be lazy, lol) I find them hard-hitting, funny, informative and honest. They talk openly and unapologetically about issues to do with race in a way that kinda just makes you listen. Man, this book just BANGED. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is such an amazing writer it's almost unbelievable to think that a book like Americanah was actually written - I feel as if it's just some superior entity in the form of a novel ... okay I'm babbling a lot, I'll stop. 

As you can probably tell at the length of this post and the amount that I am writing, I would recommend this book 10/10. Adichie's other novels are brilliant too - the first I read of her was her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize (!!!). 

Find out more about Chimamanda here, and comment below if you want with your opinions on the various blog posts from Americanah - I'd love to hear other peoples opinions tbh!!

~peace out and c u in the next post! Zoe xo~

10 comments:

  1. Okay so number five and four hit me so hard because oh my god it's so true! I've been meaning to read half of a yellow sun by Adichie but i read so slowly (!!!!) and i have dumb school books on war to read first too (!!!!!) but i can't wait to start and i'm so glad you wrote this because this is on my reading list too. just gives me even more of a reason to hurry up with my other books.

    i think it's really sad that people don't really know about Adichie though, like until beyoncé's song i'm pretty sure that only kind of mainstream black female writer that most of the people i know knew is malorie blackman. Adichie needs more exposure!!! awesome post xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ikrrrr omg. I need to read half of a yellow sun tbh. Yeah it is. She's so brilliant is unreal. Thanks melody!!! Xoxox

      Delete
  2. I want to scream number five sometimes! I remember you recommended this book to me. I just got paid so I'm definitely going to buy it now. It's really interesting what she says about dark skinned women and Barack Obama too. I really love that you did this post and the way you organised it too!

    Aida
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yesss, it's explained really well and simply too. Definitely, you won't regret it!! The things said about race are perfect but also other aspects of the novel like the relationships that come and go are so nice and gripping 2 read!! Thanks Aida!♡♡♡

      Delete
  3. I defo wanna read this! I have it in my house already so i really should add it to my ever growing reading list. I'm going to read a little book I have by her called We Should All Be Feminists which i think is kind of a speech or essay she did... anyway, yeah basically I am definetley going to get on with reading her stuff!! It all looks great!
    xx
    Mali

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. read itttt! And wow that sounds awesome, same i definitely need to get on to more of her stuff. Thanks lovelyyy đź’–

      Delete
  4. YOOOO CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE IS SO COOL MAN like i first discovered her when I listened to the excerpt from her ted talk on feminism used in beyonce's ***flawless and ahhh she is such an amazing writer too! I've read americanah and half of a yellow sun. lovely post, by the way x

    ReplyDelete
  5. i've never heard of this but it sounds great! love the quotes, definitely going to check it out!

    danielle | avec danielle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah check it out, i think you'd like it!! Xo

      Delete

thanks for your comment, they never fail to make me smile + i appreciate them so much!