Book - 2013 | First edition
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"A young woman from Nigeria leaves behind her home and her first love to start a new life in America, only to find her dreams are not all she expected"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2013
Edition: First edition
Branch Call Number: FICTION ADI
Characteristics: 477 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN: 9780307271082


From Library Staff

This sprawling story is about social commentary, Black experience, Black immigrant experience, and love. It really is awesome. It also has a lot of really good food in it, so if you like recipes, or learning about food in different places, this might really be a great book for you. Recommended by... Read More »

Americanah is the story of Ifemelu; a young woman from Nigeria who leaves her home and her first love, Obinze, to start a new life in America. It's a fascinating look at America through the eyes of a "Non-American Black." Adichie's writing is elegant and her observations are compassiona... Read More »

List - Immigration
SkokieStaff Aug 17, 2016

For adults: A young woman from Nigeria leaves behind her home and her first love to start a new life in America, only to find her dreams are not all she expected.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Apr 10, 2021

I have written over 200 restaurant reviews but this is my first book review. I enjoyed the book that much I felt compelled to write a review and share.

In short, this is the kind of book you can surprisingly concentrate on and read even in a room full of people and live music in the background—that wasn’t my case. But each chapter was so attention-grabbing, making it easy for me to tune out the noise and become ensconced in reading Ifemulu’s time in America, her observations, impressions, opinions, as well as her experiences with love, race, and relationships.

Some books can have wasted pages or chapters that propel me to skip or skim parts of it. But in this case I actually read every page, nearly 500, and would not have complained if Adichie had written more. This says a lot because when I first checked out the book I doubted that I would even finish it!

While reading “Americanah” I often laughed out loud, felt embarrassed for some of the characters, and shared empathy on some of the dark parts of the story which I’m glad Adichie dared to tell. Adichie provided good insights into immigration, mental illness, and other taboo topics. Additionally, Adichie demonstrated her talent through such details and nuances to the point I often thought of the common refrain, ‘if I could be a fly on the wall’ because that’s what it felt like when reading some of the interactions between the characters.

It was also a fun to learn about Nigeria, including its culture, cities, and food. I often noticed how I would quickly search Google in order to listen to some of the songs or look up books Adichie referenced, which I do intend to check out! If you’re looking for a book that will bring satisfaction and fulfillment similar to a good meal, I definitely suggest giving this one a try as it will keep you coming back for more and more.

Apr 01, 2021

I read this at about the same time as her earlier Half A Yellow Sun which I much preferred. The same great writing style came through, but with Half which took place in Nigeria, I felt she was on more familiar ground. I think the characters were also developed more sympathetically and in more depth.
In Americanah, I never quite understood why she moved through the three romantic relationships she had, and the last one when she returned to her first lover, thereby ending his marriage did not seem realistic and, perhaps the moralist in me, unfortunate.
I might have been spoiled with Half b/c she is a great writer and this one is good, but if there is a choice I would go for Half A Yellow SUn.

Feb 09, 2021

I really enjoyed the first 2/3 of the book, but then felt like I was slogging through, forcing myself to finish because everyone thought this book was so great. I wanted to think it was great too. I felt so awful for Ifemelu when she was struggling to find work, and was forced to do something shameful to pay her rent, but overall she wasn't very likeable, so it was hard to root for her.

I found the blog entries and dinner conversations involving race and microaggressions very interesting, though they seemed a little didactic. I read an interview in which the author said she wrote this to be a funny book, and laughed a lot while writing it, but I found it mostly sad. There were a lot of unhappy people in it, and a lot of people who were "settling".

Chapel_Hill_KrystalB Dec 18, 2020

This audiobook was a serendipitous find on NC Digital Library. I checked out the print version some years ago, but it was still at the height of its popularity with a looong waitlist. No way I can get through a nearly 500-pager in two weeks. Glad this was my path, though, because I enjoyed listening to it- even if some of the narrator's voices were appropriately grating. But the novel itself… so epic, a story that examines race and identity as they relate to place and class through a diversity of experiences across three countries. And on top of that, a realistic love story at its center. Solid.

Oct 15, 2020

A fun read

Sep 23, 2020

Modern Mrs Darcy

Aug 10, 2020

An examination of race in America from a unique perspective.

May 20, 2020

Beautiful and masterful! I loved this novel and had to take several days to process it all. It successfully weaves a multilayered story and pays homage to real struggle of being uprooted, being an immigrant, being black and to finding one's place. There are so many multidimensional characters and it's hard to put the book down. It's been described as a love story, but there is so much more to this book.

VaughanPLDavidB Feb 26, 2020

Though I didn't intend to, as soon as I started reading this book, I was comparing it to Will Ferguson's 419. I didn't much like 419 at the time I read it, and now I like it even less. I'm not sure how Ferguson could ever have presumed to write about Nigeria with any kind of authority. If only to learn a little bit about Nigerian and Nigerians, this is the book to read. Yet it is so much more. The thing that stood out to me is that there seems to be a great gulf between what it means to be African American, and what it means to be a non-American African, particularly those living in America. The author has clearly observed, through the eyes of her main character, Ifemelu, that African Americans as a group seem to have defined themselves by their position in the hierarchy of victimhood, and seem loath to give up that position. This is clear in the way that the character Blaine is essentially lecturing the reader about race. I read to be entertained and informed, not to be lectured. That's why I give this book 4 rather than 5.

OPL_AnnaW Dec 20, 2019

An immigration story, a love story, and an exploration of race and identity, this book covers a lot of bases. Adichie crafts such captivating characters that I had a hard time putting this book down.

View All Comments


Add a Quote
Jan 28, 2019

They would not understand why people like him, who were raised well fed and watered but mired in dissatisfaction, conditioned from birth to look towards somewhere else, eternally convinced that real lives happened in that somewhere else, were now resolved to dangerous things, illegal things, so as to leave, none of them starving, or raped, or from burned villages, but merely hungry for choice and certainty.

Oct 03, 2016

"...he lived in London indeed but invisibly, his existence like an erased pencil sketch..."

Oct 03, 2016

"She liked that he wore their relationship so boldly, like a brightly colored shirt."

DLBookWorm Aug 06, 2016

“That her relationship with him was like being content in a house but always sitting by the window and looking out”

Jul 26, 2015

“Racism should never have happened and so you don't get a cookie for reducing it.”


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Skokie Public Library

To Top