Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Half of a Yellow Sun is a tremendously evocative novel of the promise, hope, and disappointment of the Biafran war.
With effortless grace, celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie illuminates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra’s impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s. We experience this tumultuous decade alongside five unforgettable characters. Ugwu, a thirteen-year-old houseboy who works for Odenigbo, a university professor full of revolutionary zeal; Olanna, the professor’s beautiful young mistress who has abandoned her life in Lagos for a dusty town and her lover’s charm; and Richard, a shy young Englishman infatuated with Olanna’s willful twin sister Kainene.
This book was the winner of the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction in 2007. It can be a considered a heartbreaking, exquisitely written literary masterpiece. Now a major film starring Thandie Newton and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
In 1960s Nigeria, Ugwu, a young boy from a poor village, goes to work for Odenigbo, a radical university professor. They are soon joined by Olanna, a young woman who has walked away from a life of privilege to live with her charismatic lover. Into their world comes Richard, an English writer, who has fallen for Olanna’s sharp-tongued sister Kainene. But when the shocking horror of civil war engulfs the nation, their loves and loyalties are severely tested, while their lives pull apart and collide once again in ways none of them could have imagined.
One quote from the book that is really powerful is this one:
“The real tragedy of our postcolonial world is not that the majority of people had no say in whether or not they wanted this new world; rather, it is that the majority have not been given the tools to negotiate this new world.”
A point that we should tale a little time to ponder.