Inspired on a Sunday #7

Sundays are for laziness and to be filled with what makes us feel good, full and alive.

Sundays are made to be inspired.

I went away on holidays for a few days and ran out of books. Kind of a drama for the bookworm I am but in the little paradise we were staying in, I found books. A lot of them. And I picked up Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Because I liked how the story sounded and the name of the author reminded me something.

Of course. She is famous – not only for this, but this is how I heard about her the first time – because she gave a Ted talk titled “We should all be feminist”. I heard about her, a lot, and never thought of reading one of her books. So I grabbed this one and soak myself into it; not letting it go for 4 days.

Americanaha is the story Ifemulu and Obinze. They live in Nigeria. Under dictature. Ifemulu is going to leave for the USA. They love each other, but life and time will bring them appart. This is their story. She becomes an author, famous for her blog about race, he’s now a business man, making money.

Americanah talks about relationship, race, being black in Nigeria, the UK and the USA. It talks about growing up, about cultural differences. And it raised my awareness, it made me laugh, chocked me. As a white european woman questions of race never were never a thing, until I moved to Malawi. And suddenly skin color mattered. Just because it is how it is. Many questions and reflexions came to my mind during this year, many discussion about it, with locals, volunteers, colleagues, tourists. But this book gave a new dimension to the interrogations I had in mind.

More than a beautiful story this book will question and push your beliefs, knowledge, feelings. Everything feels real and honest, I wish I could meet Ifemulu and she could talk to me the way she is. I wish we could discuss our views on white people volunteering in Africa, on race, on racism, on being a woman, on growing up, finding your path. I wish she could make me laugh like she did in the book.

“Sprawling, ambitious and gorgeously written, ‘Americanah’ covers race, identity, relationships, community, politics, privilege, language, hair, ethnocentrism, migration, intimacy, estrangement, blogging, books and Barack Obama. It covers three continents, spans decades, leaps gracefully, from chapter to chapter, to different cities and other lives…[Adichie] weaves them assuredly into a thoughtfully structured epic. The result is a timeless love story steeped in our times.”

Laura Pearson, Chicago Tribune

Americanah

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