Thursday, April 26, 2007

Half of A Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie

So I finally got to the end of this WONDERFUL book just now and I had to jump for joy and pat my self on the back several times. I am probably the only one left in blogville who hadn’t finished the book until now. WHOOPPPIITTTYYY!!!!! I have to say it again that Ms. Adichie is GIFTED. I swear I had to restrain myself from finishing the book. Can you imagine that I started reading the book in September or October. When I saw how good the first few chapters were, I decided that I had to save it for my long flight to Nigeria. When I saw I had gotten to the middle without even noticing all the noisy babies on the plane, I closed the book and decided to watch a few movies. Then on my trip back from Port Harcourt, I attacked it again. I totally forgot that I was in public and I started talking to myself, saying the ‘eyah’s and chai’s as I engrossed myself, trying not to miss every drama. In fact I got to the part where the main character Olanna slept with her twin sister’s white boyfriend after she had found out that her husband had slept with the village girl his mean mother brought to take her place, I fell back into my airport lobby chair with a loud gasp and started punching the air like, ‘Oh No She Didn’t!!!’ When I realized I was not in bedroom I pulled myself together and continued reading. Then some guy came up to me and was like ‘That must be a very interesting book.’ I smiled and was like you are right on the money buddy. I don’t want to give anything away so I will not talk about anything else. If you have not read Half of A Yellow Sun you are an ULTIMATE SLACKER. Chi-chi my girl, RAWK ON!!! I AM AWAITING BOOK NUMBER 3 ALREADY!!!! I trust you can’t disappoint.

Meanwhile I have been doing Yoga on the floors of the Nu-Metro book store going through which book to spend money on. Last week I spent so much on books. For the very first time I didn’t calculate to get the dollar equivalent, however I did drop that overpriced book by Mr. Leke Alder. It was a cool book and well conceived but I had a ‘WTF You Gotta Be Kidding’ expression when I dropped it because ol’boy just turned some randomness into a cool-book. Vision and money can do a lot.

This brings me to my latest Litrary conquest. Gosh I am having a field time with all the ‘contemporary Nigerian Literature’. I just finished Kaine Agary’s Yellow-Yellow yesterday.

I shocked myself when I finished it in a space of 16 hours. How I found time in between work is beyond me but I did it. Does that mean I am inching closer to my Mills and Boon 8 hour reading speed days? Anyway Yellow-Yellow is also a pretty good book. Very simple if not entirely but still captures the essence of the Niger-Delta oil-conflict and what life is like for a biracial Ijaw girl. Her story is sort of like a focal point for many biracial children in the region whose coming into existence and being can make for a GREAT RESEARCH TOPIC. The book generally deals with the ‘tragic-mullato’ concept as well as the ‘aristo chick’ syndrome. Anyways I just don’t quite have the right words just yet but here’s what someone had to say about the book on Amazon’s website.

Reviewer: Kente Johnson "i am the world" (New York, NY) - See all my reviews

"What happened?"
These words, in the opening chapter of Yellow-Yellow, are in a nutshell the story of Zilafeya. Agary's novel tells the story of a young girl from the oil-rich Delta region of Nigeria. Her mother's attempts to make a living destroyed by oil - pollution and spills - Zilafeya leaves the village of her birth to seek a better life for herself in Port Harcourt.

As we follow Zilafeya on her naive journey, our eyes are opened to many aspects of Nigerian Delta life and how oil has happened to it - to the environment, to the pockets of multi-nationals and politicians, and to the villagers who try to make a life out of the oil-soaked land.

Once I started reading the book, I couldn't put it down. Agary's descriptive writing style makes the story real, without being preachy about the situation in and history of this region. It's a book that you will want to pass on to your friends when they ask you for a good book to read. It's a book that you will quote when having conversations about relationships, about nigeria, about oil. I LOVED IT!!!

Make sure you include Yellow-Yellow on your summer reading list. If you want I can RENT you my copy. Lol. But check it out on Amazon. It’s only but $12 bucks. My next conquest is Dear Eliza by Esosa Daniel-Oniko.



Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Very Excited about being first.........cant even drop a comment!!!!!

Life through rose-tinted glasses said...

Funny i just finished reading half of a yellow sun last night as well i delayed myself well. Chiamanda is very talented i cried towards the end and i wish they found kainene....sorry about me going on i'm just so excited to find someone who's read it too

Uzo said...

Chimamanda is very talented and half of a yellow sun is a very good book. I spend obscene amounts on books as well and i looked thru the Alder book in half an hour and dropped it as well. I used to work with him so i appreciate creativity but i couldnt justify 3,500 or 4,200 on it....

Good o know you are having fun in lagos

JJ said...

You are not the only one o....i haven't finished it myself. Waiting for summer to get here so i can get on it!

Saymama said...

Don't bother with Dear Eliza. My friend got me an autographed copy and I couldn't get past the first chapter, if that. I found it very gooey, repetitive and FLAT. Grade: D-. I dropped it. Maybe her second attempt will be better :-)
Recommendation (what I'm reading now): When She Was White by Judith Stone

Toni Payne said...

ada darling.. just wanted to say wsupp.. My unreliable behind promises to see u next time I am in town. k

Anonymous said...

i simply loved Half of a YEllow Sun.Will read any book Chimamanda writes

Anonymous said...

I haven't bought Half of A Yellow Sun yet, but I do have her other book "Purple Hibiscus" which I really like. "The Icarus Girl" by Helen Oyeyemi was pretty good to. I'm working on finishing "The Inheritance of Loss" by Kiran Desai and then I will return to looking for more contemporary Naija authors.

What is this Alder book?


SongReach said...

Adaure, I'm so proud that you are doing great things back home. Waow! so when next shall we see your face? we miss you o

Nkem said...

Haven't you heard of ***SPOLIER WARNING***!! Sheesh.

I haven't read it!!!

Adaure said...

@Nkem...OOPS!!!! Ma Badd :)

pamelastitch said...

Half of a yellow sun definitely gets all the stars. Ms Adichie did a great job. I will like to believe that kanene is lost somewhere and will one day find herself back home.

Mills and Boons rocks everytime...

Tutsy said...

Okay so i guess i'm the only one on bloggerville yet to read that Kaine Agary book everyone is raving about....I'm also yet to read Half a Yellow Sun. I have been so obssessed with the new books on Oprah's book club i haven't picked up any written by a fellow African sister....shame on me!!!
Anywayz, i placed my order on Amazon today...cost little over $30 for both books...Not bad at all...but i hope its worth it.

To conclude, i must comment on Helen Oyeyemi's " The Icarus Girl" i ain't trying to bash her or anything like that, but i must confess that i was less than impressed with the book. I received it as a gift at the Music store in the Silverbird Galleria when i visited naija in Decemeber and it took me two long months to finish the book....i just didn't get it.. the storyline was completely twisted, borderline fantasy...and totally absurd!!! It was far from attention grabing..(well considering the fact that i have the attention span of a fly)...bottomline, i just didn't like it.
Well i am expecting both Ms Adichie and Agary's books soon...hope i have something positive to say about it.....

pamelastitch said...

i read helen oyeyemi's work and i loved it. To really like that book, you have to be familiar with the abiku phenomena - she takes a western psychological point of view as well as an african spiritual point of view to that book. For those who discount african spirituality, they will dislike it. By the way, it was supposed to be a horror book. I know that i could not sleep that night after reading it. So give it another shot tutsi.


Yeah, oprah book club rocks but i am currently reading up on african sisters then i will get back to oprah, hopefully by summer end.

Naija Dreams said...

Now you got me curious Ill order the book I wonder if I can find it on Ebooks ??

mystoriesmytestimonies said...

i need to read this book....
one day sha... God dey ...
update abeg...

Anonymous said...

Hi Adaure

Been lurking on your site for about a year and loving it.
Reading half of a yellow sun at the mo and liking it so far. Thanks for keeping us clued on to the great naija authors. Chinua(?) Achebe and Wole Soyinka must be very proud as I am.

PS when are you updating us on the wedding websites for this year? Yes I am sad like :)

BabaAlaye said...

Hey Addy,

Saw you on TV first time ever. Lawd have mercy! Girl, you're so beautiful like damn!!!!
Like "wanna slam a rock on her finga" hot.Jeez.

Okay Alaye, calm down.

pink gloves said...

nice, i will pick up the books. I love reading books by African Authors in general. I think i will read Yellow- Yellow first.

B.F Paperstax said...

Ada,'Half of a yellow Sun' Where do i begin, I read this not too long ago and i must confess i couldnt put it down, read it cover to cover. i also loved 'Purple hybiscus'(right spelling?). Anyways, i have One major problem with Miss Adichie's writing. Both books have an underlying theme of sadness. The ending of half of a yellow sun lacked closure, I felt this way after reading purple hybiscus and i got the exact same feeling after half of a yellow sun. I know it's the naija way(from naija home videos, stories etc) to have sad endings etc, BUT damn!! adding a little hope at the end wouldnt have been too bad. kainene did not have to disappear! her home did not have to be seized by someone that didnt let the boyfriend look for belongings, the hausa man that gave slippers earlier didnt have to be the murderer(it could have been implied even).. there was just this feeling of mistrust and an underlying tribalism that i did not like. other than that it was a wonderful book and soo much of it rang true(like the poverty mentality of hanging on to things you will never use/do not need).. sorry for spoiling the book for those that havent read it. Did anyone else think that? i mean the latent tribalism...

Adaure said...

Interesting you should point that out. Well the war was OBVIOUSLY about tribalism and many actions taken were based on tribalism. As such the book only reflects a reality. I LOVE IT THE WAY IT IS. I hate those cliche.. to God be the glory and they lived happily endings. It's bad enough that Ugwu ws found alive .. he should have satyed dead, because that's what happened during the war. So them not finding Kainene is significant. It woudl have been too easy if all the good things, lucky escapes and close calls were happening only to Ola and her family.

Anonymous said...


Adaure said...

WOW.. first Baba offers me a ROCK and now I look like Rihanna.... You people are making my head swell too much now...but we thank God sha


i havent even seen the book, let alone read it. so u r not the only one who has not finished the book. i guess i'm not really the reding type
first time here, loving ur site

Number1Fan said...

Adaure, I know now with your busy schedule in naija, covering the wayo Nigerian elections, reading all these worldly books you don't have time for wedding websites, but we your fans haven't moved on we still want more. Abeg who is the D&D of 2007 o! Please fill us on!

BabaAlaye said...

Addy i just finished that Book.
Phew what can i say? Fantastic.
I honestly don't know how i found the time to read it but i sha finished it. I'm very very impressed.
I'm surprised after all those horrible things Naija is still in one piece. God must have a plan for this country

Anonymous said...

Ada nwannem, thanks for the recommendation...ave been hearing about this Chimamanda girl but i keep puttn off gettn her books. After readn ur blog i ran to Barnes&Nobles on 72nd st. and acquired both Half of a yellow sun and Purple Hibiscus. Just got 'em yesterday, and am purposely pacing my self as well until am done with my final still on chapter 2. LOVN it so far!

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