“Is love this misguided need to have you beside me most of the time? Is love this safety I feel in our silence? Is it this belonging, this completeness?“
Chimamanda Ngozi Adicie‘s sophomore novel, Half of a Yellow Sun is nothing short of a contemporary literary masterpiece, period. I intentionally avoid qualifying this statement by not including the word African between contemporary and literary. Her talent as a writer is unquestionably illustrated in the exquisite prose and captivating narrative of Half of a Yellow Sun. This tome poignantly chronicles the reaction of the Igbo people to the genocidal pogroms in the north of Nigeria, by founding the Republic of Biafra – the self-proclaimed ‘land of the rising sun‘ – which triggered a brutal civil war in Nigeria in the late 1960s, killing over 2 million Biafrans. Chimamanda, takes readers into the intricate lives of two Igbo non-identical twin sisters, Kainene and Olanna, and their extended families as they struggle to survive the vicissitudes of the rise and fall of Biafra. Chimamanda’s account does not shy away from the gruesome horrors of war – rape, starvation, and death, as well as the human collateral damage that it inflicts- betrayal, deceit and loss. Through the colorful cast of characters that surround the twins, including Ugwu the house boy who views the world through the eyes of a simple, superstitious villager; his firebrand, idealistic, revolutionary master, Odenigbo; and Richard, the dry, apologetically progressive ex-colonial, Englishman; Chimamanda sketches an intimate portrait of this chaotic and violent period in Nigeria’s history. In short, I unequivocally recommend Half a Yellow Sun to anyone looking to read a modern classic. Enjoy!
Have you read Half of a Yellow Sun or another of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novels, poems or essays? What do you enjoy most about her writing? Is there another book by her that you would highly recomend? Please feel free to share your thoughts in a comment below. Thanks as always for visiting my blog! Also, if you would like to receive more updates about my writing please consider joining my newsletter mailing list by subscribing below.