Americanah

Editorial reviews

Americanah

Americanah is one of the best books I’ve read this year.

Its ultimate concern isn’t the challenge of becoming American or the hyphenation that requires, but the challenge of going back home.

In its mix of domestic drama and detailed analyses of world politics, the book is a hybrid of Naguib Mahfouz’s Cairo Trilogy and the more overtly political works of Nadine Gordimer.

Ms. Adichie displays much keen critical intelligence about how we can unwittingly betray our truest selves. But if she has any real passion for the people in “Americanah,” she’s done far too good a job of keeping it to herself.

Soap-operatic in spots, but a fine adult love story with locations both exotic and familiar.

Like Ifemelu's hairdo, Adichie's novel tightly braids together multiple ideas and storylines. It's a marvel of skilled construction and imagination.

It's that type of evocative power, transporting my imagination while keeping my feet firmly on the ground, that has me looking forward to Adichie's books for years to come.

The novel overall remains wise, entertaining and unendingly perceptive.