Half of a Yellow Sun

Half of a Yellow Sun

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This highly anticipated novel from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is set in Nigeria during the 1960s, at the time of a vicious civil war in which a million people died and thousands were massacred in cold blood.

The three main characters in the novel are swept up in the violence during these turbulent years. One is a young boy from a poor village who is employed at a university lecturer’s house. The other is a young middle-class woman, Olanna, who has to confront the reality of the massacre of her relatives. And the third is a white man, a writer who lives in Nigeria for no clear reason, and who falls in love with Olanna’s twin sister, a remote and enigmatic character.

As these people’s lives intersect, they have to question their own responses to the unfolding political events. This extraordinary novel is about Africa in a wider sense: about moral responsibility, about the end of colonialism, about ethnic allegiances, about class and race; and about the ways in which love can complicate all of these things.

Reviews of Half of a Yellow Sun

    • Praise for HB:
    • ‘Heartbreaking, funny, exquisitely written and, without doubt, a literary masterpiece and a classic.’ Daily Mail
    • ‘Stunning. It has a ramshackle freedom and exuberant ambition.’ Observer
    • ‘I look with awe and envy at this young woman from Africa who is recording the history of her country. She is fortunate – and we, her readers, are even luckier.’ Edmund White
    • ‘Vividly written, thrumming with life…a remarkable novel. In its compassionate intelligence as in its capacity for intimate portraiture, this novel is a worthy successor to such twentieth-century classics as Chinua Achebe’s “Things Fall Apart” and V.S. Naipaul’s “A Bend in the River”.’ Joyce Carol Oates
    • ‘Rarely have I felt so there, in the middle of all that suffering. I wasted the last fifty pages, reading them far too greedily and fast, because I couldn’t bear to let go…It is a magnificent second novel – and can’t fail to find the readership it deserves and demands.’ Margaret Forster
    • ‘Here is a new writer endowed with the gift of ancient storytellers.’ Chinua Achebe
    • ‘[Deserves] a place alongside such works as Pat Barker’s Regeneration trilogy and Helen Dunmore’s depiction of the Leningrad blockade, “The Siege”.’ Guardian
    • ‘A fresh examination of the ravages of war…a welcome addition to the corpus of African letters.’ Times Literary Supplement