Chimamanda Adichie’s ‘Americanah’ Among 21st Century Remarkable Books by Women


Chimamanda Adichie’s novel, Americanah, has been recognised as one of 15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way fiction was being written and read in the 21st century.

The book was listed by the New York Times Staff Book Critics among fiction books, each of which features a woman at its centre, to mark Women’s History Month.

According to The New York Times, on their selection process, the 15 books were fictional novels that addressed diverse issues.

The international news magazine wrote on its website ‘’ that the list of fiction books was compiled to mark Women’s History Month, tagging the women ‘The New Vanguard’.

The list aims “to think about these writers who are opening new realms to us, whose books suggest and embody unexplored possibilities in form, feeling and knowledge.”

For Adichie’s citation, the magazine wrote, “If you were paying attention, you might have seen this book coming.

“Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s first novel, “Purple Hibiscus,” was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize.

“Her second, “Half of a Yellow Sun,” won the Orange Prize. In 2008, she was awarded a MacArthur “genius” grant.

“But “Americanah” more than paid off on this writer’s promise. It’s a resonant and fiercely intellectual novel about a Nigerian woman named Ifemelu who leaves Africa for America and suffers here.

“Before starting a blog called “Raceteenth or Various Observations About American Blacks (Those Formerly Known as Negroes) by a Non-American Black” and winning a fellowship at Princeton.

“Adichie works both high and low; she’s as adept at dissecting internet and hair salon culture as she is at parsing the overlapping and ever-changing meanings of class and race in the United States.

“Americanah” brings news, on many fronts, about how a new generation of immigrants is making its way in the world. It has lessons for every human about how to live,” The New York Times wrote.

‘Americanah’ is a 2013 novel, for which Adichie won the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Fiction award.

It traces Ifemelu’s life in both countries, threaded by her love story with high school classmate, Obinze.

In 2013, the book was selected as one of the 10 Best Books of the year by the editors of the New York Times Book Review.

It was shortlisted for the 2014 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction of the United Kingdom.

The Chicago Tribune awarded Adichie its 2013 Heartland Award for Fiction, recognising Americanah as a novel that engages with important ideas about race, and does so with style, wit and insight.

In March 2017, Americanah was picked as the winner for the “One Book, One New York” program, part of a community reading initiative encouraging all city residents to read the same book.

Adichie had been featured severally in the New York Times, including being a part of the magazine’s ‘Greats’ List in 2017.

In 2017, ‘Americanah’ won the ‘One Book, One New York’ campaign by the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and BuzzFeed.

The Women’s History Month is an annual declared month that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society.

It is celebrated in March in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and other parts of the world, corresponding with International Women’s Day on March 8.


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