Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the author of Purple Hibiscus, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize, Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Orange Prize for. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grew up in Nigeria. Published in the United States by Vintage Books, a division of Random eBook ISBN: A Presentation by Cathy Ybarra. CHIMAMANDA. NGOZI ADICHIE. Page 2. Life and Career. • Born in Engu, Nigeria in • Came to the United States at
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audiences and fans of the book, was addressed is based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Chiwetel Ejiofor and support from the book's. Half of a Yellow Sun. Home · Half of a Yellow Sun Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. downloads Views KB Size Report. DOWNLOAD EPUB. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is best known for Americanah and Half of a Yellow Sun. Delve into some of her short stories here.
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Please note: online orders for signed copies must be placed at least one business day before the event. He looked amused. He was not afraid of her. I should hold it, as punishment for wearing it in the rst place. She nodded.
He took her hand and then smiled at Ginika, as though to a nice chaperone whose job was now done. Ifemelu thought Mills and Boon romances were silly, she and her friends sometimes enacted the stories, Ifemelu or Ranyinudo would play the man and Ginika or Priye would play the woman—the man would grab the woman, the woman would ght weakly, then collapse against him with shrill moans—and they would all burst out laughing.
As she moved sti y, she saw Ginika in her side vision, watching them, her expression puzzled, mouth slightly slack, as though she did not quite believe what had happened. He was teasing her, and she did not quite get the joke, but she laughed anyway. Later, she wished that she remembered every word they said to each other as they danced. She remembered, instead, feeling adrift.
They talked and talked, hungry to know each other. Did she really fight with another professor? She was on a committee and they discovered that this professor had misused funds and my mother accused him publicly and he got angry and slapped her and said he could not take a woman talking to him like that. She told him she could not slap him back because he was stronger than her, but he would have to apologize to her publicly, in front of all the people who had seen him slap her.
So he did. She came home that day really angry, and she kept talking about how things had changed and what did it mean that now somebody could just slap another person. She wrote circulars and articles about it, and the student union got involved. So some of her female students went and printed Full Human Being on T- shirts. I guess it made her well-known.
We might as well just stay in Nsukka. And I said, Ah, correct, there is hope. She reads. I stayed up one night to finish it. Which of the classics do you like? I just like crime and thrillers. Sheldon, Ludlum, Archer. University boy! That must be what your professor mother taught you. I love the American ones. So boring. He likes you. She can argue. She can talk. She never agrees. But Ginika is just a sweet girl.
Are you insulting me? She had always liked this image of herself as too much trouble, as di erent, and she sometimes thought of it as a carapace that kept her safe. You looked like the kind of person who will do something because you want to, and not because everyone else is doing it. He made her like herself. With him, she was at ease; her skin felt as though it was her right size. She told him how she very much wanted God to exist but feared He did not, how she worried that she should know what she wanted to do with her life but did not even know what she wanted to study at university.
It seemed so natural, to talk to him about odd things. She had never done that before. The trust, so sudden and yet so complete, and the intimacy, frightened her.
They had known nothing of each other only hours ago, and yet, there had been a knowledge shared between them in those moments before they danced, and now she could think only of all the things she yet wanted to tell him, wanted to do with him. The similarities in their lives became good omens: He was from Abba and she was from Umunnachi and the towns were minutes away from each other.
One of my uncles goes to your village all the time! You people have terrible roads. The roads are worse. I go very often with my mother, at least five times a year. I even know proverbs. The basic one everybody knows. A frog does not run in the afternoon for nothing.
I know serious proverbs. Akota ife ka ubi, e lee oba. If something bigger than the farm is dug up, the barn is sold.
She could say only two more before she gave up, with him still raring to go. I think my dad would have liked that. Cigarette smoke wafted up from the entrance of the guesthouse, where some boys had gathered.
Party noises hung in the air: He seemed startled. Because you make me shy. They kissed, pressed their foreheads together, held hands. His kiss was enjoyable, almost heady; it was nothing like her ex-boyfriend Mofe, whose kisses she had thought too salivary. He had done what her ex-boyfriend had done but the difference, in this case, was love. Is it by force?
Why are you speaking for me?
Stop struggling. The end-of-break bell began to ring, jangling and discordant. She wanted him to hear and she wanted the boy sitting in front, bespectacled and studious, to hear and she wanted the girls gathered in the corridor outside to hear. But it was table tennis that he loved, sweating and shouting as he played, glistening with energy, smashing the small white ball, and she marveled at his skill, how he seemed to stand too far away from the table and yet managed to get the ball.
He was already the undefeated school champion, as he had been, he told her, in his former school. Sometimes she worried that she was too happy. She would sink into moodiness, and snap at Obinze, or be distant. And her joy would become a restless thing, apping its wings inside her, as though looking for an opening to fly away.
Her breeziness was forced, laid on thickly, and Ifemelu felt burdened with guilt, and with a desire to overcompensate. It seemed wrong, that her close friend Ginika, pretty, pleasant, popular Ginika with whom she had never quarreled, was reduced to pretending that she did not care, even though a wistfulness underlined her tone whenever she talked about Obinze. This regime is treating us like sheep and we are starting to behave as if we are sheep. I have not been able to do any real research in years, because every day I am organizing strikes and talking about unpaid salary and there is no chalk in the classrooms.
You can always come back. Ifemelu and Ginika were lounging in the corridor, during short break, when the Big Guys joined them: Kayode, Obinze, Ahmed, Emenike, and Osahon. He was awed by people who went abroad. So you have an American passport? I keep telling my mom that she should have gone earlier and had me there!
After he spoke, a hushed silence followed. The others laughed, too, even Emenike himself, but there was, underneath their laughter, a barbed echo. The conversation ebbed, changed to the mathematics teacher who did not know how to solve simultaneous equations.
They did that often, slowly detaching themselves from their friends, to sit in a corner by the library or take a walk in the green behind the laboratories. But she said nothing, walking beside him in silence. He t here, in this school, much more than she did. He admired her for being outspoken and di erent, but he did not seem able to see beneath that.
To be here, among people who had gone abroad, was natural for him. He was uent in the knowledge of foreign things, especially of American things. Everybody watched American lms and exchanged faded American magazines, but he knew details about American presidents from a hundred years ago.
Manhattan was his zenith. The next morning, she put it down on his desk with a decided thump.
Please keep your proper books and leave me with the books I like. And by the way, I still win when we play Scrabble, Mr. Read Proper Books.
Whenever she felt this way, panic would slice into her at the slightest thing, and mundane events would become arbiters of doom. This time, Ginika was the trigger; she was standing near the staircase, her backpack on her shoulder, her face gold-streaked in the sunlight, and suddenly Ifemelu thought how much Ginika and Obinze had in common.
Maybe she wants to give you a handkerchief. She said you should come to lunch. It was odd. Her parents did not, of course, know about Obinze.
What does that even mean? Obinze opened the door. My mom just came back from work. She looked like Onyeka Onwenu, the resemblance was astounding: The songs, each time her father played them, made their at festive, turned him into a looser person who sang along with songs steeped in femaleness, and Ifemelu would guiltily fantasize about him being married to Onyeka Onwenu instead of to her mother.
But she had a low, murmuring voice.
Ifemelu stood tongue-tied for seconds. Did Obinze tell you I do some translation? From the French. I am a lecturer in literature, not English literature, mind you, but literatures in English, and my translating is something I do as a hobby.
There was something about the woman that made her want to say intelligent things, but her mind was blank. Did you bring out the soup from the freezer? She reached out and picked o a piece of lint from his hair, and then hit his head lightly. Their uid, bantering rapport made Ifemelu uncomfortable. It was free of restraint, free of the fear of consequences; it did not take the familiar shape of a relationship with a parent.
They cooked together, his mother stirring the soup, Obinze making the garri, while Ifemelu stood by drinking a Coke. She was pleasant and direct, even warm, but there was a privacy about her, a reluctance to bare herself completely to the world, the same quality as Obinze.
She had taught her son the ability to be, even in the middle of a crowd, somehow comfortably inside himself. The human stories that matter are those that endure. The American books you read are lightweights.
And remember that your husband was educated there. American universities were considered to be at the same level as British secondary schools then. I did a lot of brushing-up on that man after I married him. Here, her father would seem crass, with his unnecessary big words, and her mother provincial and small. She felt undeserving, unable to sink with Obinze and his mother into their atmosphere. Obinze was smirking. Ifemelu ate her food slowly, thinking how much she wanted to remain there with them, in their rapture, forever.
Slices of mango glistening on a pie, small brown cakes swelling with raisins. Ifemelu stirred the batter and peeled the fruit; her own mother did not bake, their oven housed cockroaches. In their America-Britain jousting, she always sided with his mother. Could he say that in English? One Sunday, midway into a lm, his mother left for the pharmacy, to download her allergy medicine. As soon as her car engine started, a dull revving, Ifemelu and Obinze hurried to his bedroom and sank onto his bed, kissing and touching, their clothing rolled up, shifted aside, pulled halfway.
Their skin warm against each other. In a sluice of seconds, they were dressed, back in the living room, Play pressed on the video recorder. A frozen silence fell, even from the lm. Then the singsong cries of a beans hawker floated in through the window. Obinze got up, but Ifemelu stopped him. But Nature is unfair to women. An act is done by two people, but if there are any consequences, one person carries it alone.
Do you understand me? I know what it is like to love while young. I want to advise you. I am aware that, in the end, you will do what you want. My advice is that you wait. You can love without making love. It is a beautiful way of showing your feelings but it brings responsibility, great responsibility, and there is no rush.
I will advise you to wait until you are at least in the university, wait until you own yourself a little more. Women are more sensible than men, and you will have to be the sensible one. Convince him. Both of you should agree to wait so that there is no pressure. The silence rang in her head.
I want to know that you are being responsible. Yet she felt the absence of shame. Obinze seemed nervous, perched on the edge of the center table. If she wants to talk to anybody, it should be me. That I am misleading her son.
Purple Hibiscus (Electronic book text, ePub ed)
Later, when she told him what his mother had said, he shook his head. What kind of rubbish is that? Does she want to download condoms for us? What is wrong with that woman? She avoided the sun and used creams in elegant bottles, so that her complexion, already naturally light, became lighter, brighter, and took on a sheen.
Ifemelu wondered if Aunty Uju ever looked at herself with the eyes of the girl she used to be. Perhaps not. Aunty Uju had steadied herself into her new life with a lightness of touch, more consumed by The General himself than by her new wealth.
The bathroom fascinated her, with its hot water tap, its gushing shower, its pink tiles. Even the kitchen was air- conditioned. She wanted to live there. It would impress her friends; she imagined them sitting in the small room just o the living room, which Aunty Uju called the TV room, watching programs on satellite.
And so she asked her parents if she could stay with Aunty Uju during the week. No need for her to study with kerosene lamps. Her mother paused, taken aback by his rmness. For days, Ifemelu sulked. Her father often indulged her, giving in to what she wanted, but this time he ignored her pouts, her deliberate silences at the dinner table.
He pretended not to notice when Aunty Uju brought them a new television. He barged past Ifemelu into the at, into the kitchen, and reached up to the electric meter, yanking o the fuse, cutting o what little electricity they had.
We have been paying one year. He disliked Akunne, his almost- cousin, the prosperous man from their hometown to whom everyone took their problems. He called Akunne a lurid illiterate, a money-miss-road. Ifemelu hastily looked away, hoping he had not seen her watching him, and asked him if he could explain a di cult question in her homework. To distract him, to make it seem that life could happen again.
It was better than being indebted to Akunne. Ifemelu told Aunty Uju how the landlord banged on their door, a loud, unnecessary banging for the bene t of the neighbors, while hurling insults at her father. Pay me my money. But Oga will give it to me. And do you know I have not been paid a salary since I started work? Every day, there is a new story from the accounts people. The trouble started with my position that does not o cially exist, even though I see patients every day.
Not that my pay will be enough for the rent, sha. He pays all the bills and he wants me to ask for everything I need. Some men are like that. Aunty Uju, in her big pink house with the wide satellite dish blooming from its roof, her generator brimming with diesel, her freezer stocked with meat, and she did not have money in her bank account.
She looked suddenly small and bewildered among the detritus of her new life, the fawn-colored jewel case on the dressing table, the silk robe thrown across the bed, and Ifemelu felt frightened for her. With Aunty Uju, they hovered and groveled, curtseying deeply as they greeted her, overpraising her handbag and shoes.
Ifemelu watched, fascinated. It was here, at a Lagos salon, that the di erent ranks of imperial femaleness were best understood. Aunty Uju laughed and patted the silky hair extensions that fell to her shoulders: Chinese weave-on, the latest version, shiny and straight as straight could be; it never tangled.
The biggest problem in this country is not corruption. Oga said I was well brought up, that I was not like all the Lagos girls who sleep with him on the rst night and the next morning give him a list of what they want him to download.
I slept with him on the rst night but I did not ask for anything, which was stupid of me now that I think of it, but I did not sleep with him because I wanted something.
Ah, this thing called power. I was attracted to him even with his teeth like Dracula. I was attracted to his power. She had slipped naira notes to all the salon workers, to the security men outside, to the policemen at the road junction.
These people that appear once there is an accident? It is so easy to get used to all this. I just need to go slowly. She did not look him in the face as she spoke and he did not look her in the face as he thanked her.
His solid, thickset body spoke of ghts that he had started and won, and the buckteeth that gaped through his lips made him seem vaguely dangerous.
Ifemelu was surprised by the gleeful coarseness of him. He arrived in the evenings, in his green uniform, holding a gossip magazine or two, while his ADC, at an obsequious pace behind him, brought his briefcase and put it on the dining table. Oga has the real gist. A whole General O cer Commanding and if he sees a needle, he is afraid! It was, to her, an endearing detail.
All this for me? One of his favorites, which he often told Ifemelu, while drinking Star beer after dinner, was the story of how Aunty Uju was di erent. He told it with a self-congratulatory tone, as if her di erence re ected his own good taste.
Before I looked at it, I said I already know what she wants. Is it not perfume, shoes, bag, watch, and clothes? I know Lagos girls. But you know what was in it? One perfume and four books! I was shocked. I spent one good hour in that bookshop in Piccadilly. I bought her twenty books! Which Lagos babe do you know that will be asking for books?
Ifemelu would smile dutifully. She thought it undigni ed and irresponsible, this old married man telling her stories; it was like showing her his unclean underwear. She recognized the lightness of being, the joyfulness that Aunty Uju had on weekdays; it was how she felt when she was looking forward to seeing Obinze after school. But it seemed wrong, a waste, that Aunty Uju should feel this for The General.
They had been together for most of university and when you saw them, you saw why they were together. And Aunty Uju laughed as though it was really a joke. There was tension; some army o cers had already been arrested.
Aunty Uju was not with The General, did not know where he was, and she paced upstairs and then downstairs, worried, making phone calls that yielded nothing.
Soon, she began to heave, struggling to breathe. Her panic had turned into an asthma attack. She was gasping, shaking, piercing her arm with a needle, trying to inject herself with medicine, drops of blood staining the bedcovers, until Ifemelu ran down the street to bang on the door of a neighbor whose sister was also a doctor. She was in the kitchen the entire morning supervising Chikodili, singing loudly from time to time, being a little too familiar with Chikodili, a little too quick to laugh with her.
Finally, the cooking done and the house smelling of spices and sauces, Aunty Uju went upstairs to shower.
Oga said it disturbs him! Ifemelu had nished and Aunty Uju was coating an exfoliating mask on her face when The General called to say he could no longer come. Aunty Uju, her face ghoulish, covered in chalk- white paste except for the circles of skin around her eyes, hung up and walked into the kitchen and began to put the food in plastic containers for the freezer.
Chikodili looked on in confusion. Aunty Uju worked feverishly, jerking the freezer compartment, slamming the cupboard, and as she pushed back the pot of jollof rice, the pot of egusi soup fell o the cooker. Aunty Uju stared at the yellowish-green sauce spreading across the kitchen oor as though she did not know how it had happened. Come on, clean it up! Am I your agemate? Ifemelu had not expected Aunty Uju to hit her, yet when the slap landed on the side of her face, making a sound that seemed to her to come from far away, nger-shaped welts rising on her cheek, she was not surprised.
They stared at each other. Aunty Uju opened her mouth as though to say something and then she closed it and turned and walked upstairs, both of them aware that something between them was now di erent.
Aunty Uju did not come downstairs until evening, when Adesuwa and Uche came to visit. But they amused her. They visited her insistently, comparing notes on shopping and travel, asking her to go to parties with them. It was strange what she knew and did not know about them, she once told Ifemelu.
Chikodili let them in. They wore embroidered caftans and spicy perfume, their Chinese weaves hanging down to their backs, their conversation lined with a hard-edged worldliness, their laughter short and scornful.
I told him he must download it in my name o. Ah, I knew he would not bring the money unless I said somebody was sick. Why now? She was supposed to want to meet men, to keep her eyes open; she was supposed to see The General as an option that could be bettered. After they left, Aunty Uju came over to the dining table, where Ifemelu sat reading. It was not as it should be. Ifemelu felt a small grati cation to hear, later, Aunty Uju shouting on the phone.
You knew you were going to Abuja from the beginning so why let me waste my time preparing for you! I had an abortion and I am not doing it again. He cleared his throat. He soothed his wife. This is not what I hoped for you, Obianuju, but you are an adult. She spoke in a low, pacifying voice, stranger for being formal, but saved from falseness by the soberness of her face.
I am sorry to disappoint you, after everything you have done for me, and I beg you to forgive me. But I will make the best of this situation. The General is a responsible man. He will take care of his child. Aunty Uju put an arm around him, as though it were he who needed comforting. It marked the beginning of the end and made everything else seem rapid, the months rushing past, time hurtling forward. There was Aunty Uju, dimpled with exuberance, her face aglow, her mind busy with plans as her belly curved outwards.
He wanted England, so that he could travel with her; the Americans had barred entry to high-ranking members of the military government. But Aunty Uju chose America, because her baby could still have automatic citizenship there. The plans were made, a hospital picked, a furnished condo rented in Atlanta. You should ask Obinze, he will know. At least it is a place to live. And Oga has people there who will help me. The General hardly spoke about his wife, but Aunty Uju knew enough: While she was in America, The General had one of the bedrooms repainted a brilliant white.
He bought a cot, its legs like delicate candles. He bought stu ed toys, and too many teddy bears. Inyang propped them in the cot, lined some up on a shelf and, perhaps because she thought nobody would notice, she took one teddy bear to her room in the back.
Aunty Uju had a boy. She sounded high and elated over the phone. Can you imagine? What a waste! Her mother, when Aunty Uju came back, stayed in Dolphin Estate for a while, bathing and feeding the gurgling, smooth-skinned baby, but she faced The General with a cold o ciousness. She answered him in monosyllables, as though he had betrayed her by breaking the rules of her pretense.
A relationship with Aunty Uju was acceptable, but such agrant proof of the relationship was not. The house smelled of baby powder. Aunty Uju was happy. The General held Dike often, suggesting that perhaps he needed to be fed again or that a doctor needed to see the rash on his neck. They set up in the front garden, near the generator house, and stayed until the last guests left, all of them slow and sated, taking food wrapped in foil.
Dike, newly walking, tottered around in a suit and red bow tie, while Aunty Uju followed him, trying to get him to be still for a few moments with the photographer. Finally, tired, he began to cry, yanking at his bow tie, and The General picked him up and carried him around.
Ifemelu picked it up. Ifemelu held the phone too tightly, stunned. Ifemelu held her, cradled her, all of them unsure of what to do, and the silence in between her sobs seemed too silent.
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Inyang brought Dike downstairs. There was banging on the gate. Pack your things and get out now! Give us the car keys! You will never live in peace in this Lagos! At rst, Aunty Uju said nothing, staring at them, standing still at the door.
Stay there while I go and call my boys from the army barracks. Everything is in his name. Where will I take my son to now?
They would know what to do. Aunty Uju did, pressing the speaker button, and then leaned against the wall. Arrange a tow van and take the generator. Make sure you take the generator. You have to take that generator.
That is what will pay for your life until you gather yourself. Go to London or America. Do you have American visa? The rooms upstairs had grown unbearably hot; the air conditioners had suddenly stopped working, as though they had decided, in unison, to pay tribute to the end.
He read the poem to her, J. But she, too, wanted to go to Ibadan, because Aunty Uju had gone there. Cross-check everything. I have heard of the most unlikely mistakes that you will not believe. However, when Adichie's family visited Fide's village, Fide's mother showed them a basket that Fide's brother had made, making her realize that she created her opinion about Fide based on only one story of him.
Adichie said, "It had not occurred to me that anybody in his family could actually make something. All I had heard about them was how poor they were, so that it had become impossible for me to see them as anything else but poor. Their poverty was my single story of them. Her American roommate was surprised that Adichie was fluent in English and that she did not listen to tribal music. In this single story, there was no possibility of Africans being similar to her in any way, no possibility of feelings more complex than pity, no possibility of a connection as human equals.
She advocated for a greater understanding of stories because people are complex, saying that by only understanding a single story, one misinterprets people, their backgrounds and their histories. Adichie said that the problem with gender is that it shapes who we are.
Gender as it functions today is a grave injustice. We should all be angry.Kayode was throwing a hasty party in their guest quarters while his parents were away in London. What can I offer you? Where are you?
Do not judge. I think I ate up to ten. Kayode, Obinze, Ahmed, Emenike, and Osahon.
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