Monday, June 22, 2015

Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie

A book that would resonate with any Third World person who had to eke out an existence in a 'first-world' country.
Her views on US society were interesting: 'In America, tribalism is alive and well. There are four kinds—class, ideology, region, and race. First, class. Pretty easy. Rich folk and poor folk'. 'Second, ideology. Liberals and conservatives. They don’t merely disagree on political issues, each side believes the other is evil' ' Third, region. The North and the South. The two sides fought a civil war and tough stains from that war remain. The North looks down on the South while the South resents the North. Finally, race. There’s a ladder of racial hierarchy in America. White is always on top, specifically White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, otherwise known as WASP, and American Black is always on the bottom'
The bottom-line is a love story that seems a perfect blend of personalities and intelligence, but Life happens and they go their separate ways..the reason that they do seems a bit contrived.. but towards the end of the book one of his friends makes this sage observation: '....many of us didn't marry the woman we truly loved. We married the woman that was around when we were ready to marry.'
It got me musing about the whole 'love' thing..both protagonists get on with their lives and have sex and relationships with other people but one rather got the idea they were 'settling' and I wonder really.. do most people just 'settle'.
Some ideas and characters were not so well formed but it was a fairly longish novel whose main purpose, it seemed was to explain Nigerian ambivalence about traditional roots and modern Western culture.

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