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Thoughts on Americanah

Americanah is my favorite work that we have read in class so far. Adichie addresses a multitude of controversial topics in her novel, from racism to suicide, through Ifemelu’s refreshing frankness.  Ifemelu does not immediately find her voice and a platform to make herself heard, but, when her blog begins to attract attention, she is able to express her views to a larger audience.  Her growth through the novel that produced the strong and unapologetic writer and individual she becomes.

We will find out soon when we meet Adichie in person, but I wonder how similar she is to Ifemelu.  When I was researching Adichie, I came across an article that reminded me of some of the responses to Ifemelu’s blogs.  A post on The New Republic website, called “The Insufferable Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie,” was quite shocking to me, because up until now I had heard nothing but praise for her.  The reviewer brought to mind some of the negative responses to Ifemelu’s blog posts.  The reviewer on the real-life site I found was somewhat funny, in a way, because he had not read Americanah and based his judgments on the book and its author solely based on interviews.  His commentary on the novel is quite similar to the people Ifemelu mentions in her blog, who protest that nothing is wrong with the class system in America and say that any people who think differently are too sensitive.  In stating these opinions, the author of the review inadvertently fueled Ifemelu’s – and Adichie’s – argument that not enough is currently being done to address inequity in our country.

Here is the link to the article.

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