Englischsprachige Literatur

Adichie Chimamanda Ngozi


anchor books, www.anchorbooks.com


Adichie was born in Nigeria in 1977 and grew up there, before she came to the US. for studies. She started her own blog “Understanding America for the Non-American Black”, in which she pointed out open and subtle racism in American society. She obviously became so successful, that a good friend might have told her:”Why don´t you make a book out of it”, and that is exactly what Adichie did.

To add substance, she arranged autobiografic details around her blogs. So we learn about the happy childhood and youth of Ifemelu (=Chimamanda) in Nigeria, and her love affair with the fellow student Obinze, the love of her life.

Nevertheless she leaves him behind and moves to the States with a student visa, becomes a famous blogger and author, lives with a white intellectual, then a black one, and returns to Nigeria, where she finally finds her true love again. Obinze tried to build a new career in Britain, but is sent back when his visa expires and a fake marriage contract fails. Back in Nigeria he becomes a very successful businessman. So all´s well that ends well.

First the reader follows Adichie`s story with great interest and compassion. But increasingly she feels uneasy, as Adichie`s complaints about all that unfair racist behaviour is a bit one-sided and her own view of white America is just as racist and stereotyped. She glorifies Obama´s presidential campaign, exactly why?:”A clean heart. She believed in Barack Obama” (p. 438) The narrative element that binds her different episodes together is the hair salon, where she first has her hair straightened, then braided, then cut short and fizzy. This is meant to symbolize her return to her roots and African self-confidence?