Half of a Yellow Sun

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Ugwu, a boy from a poor village, works as a houseboy for a university professor. Olanna has abandoned her life of privilege in Lagos to live with her charismatic new lover, the professor. And Richard, a shy English writer, is in thrall to Olanna’s enigmatic twin sister. As the horrific Biafran War engulfs them, they are thrown together and pulled apart in ways they had never imagined. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s masterpiece, winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction and now a major film, is a novel about Africa in a wider sense: about the end of colonialism, ethnic allegiances, class and race – and about the ways in which love can complicate all of these things.

Reviews of Half of a Yellow Sun

  • ‘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

    ‘Here is a new writer endowed with the gift of ancient storytellers.’ Chinua Achebe

    ‘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

    ‘Heartbreaking, funny, exquisitely written and, without doubt, a literary masterpiece and a classic.’ Daily Mail

    ‘Stunning. This novel is an immense achievement.’ Observer

    ‘A magnificent novel.’ Independent

    ‘The first great African novel of the new century.’ Guardian

    ‘Absolutely awesome. One of the best books I’ve ever read.’ Judy Finnigan

    ‘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

    ‘[Deserves] a place alongside such works as Pat Barker’s “Regeneration” trilogy and Helen Dunmore’s depiction of the Leningrad blockade, “The Siege”.’ Guardian

    ‘Adichie uses language with relish. She infuses her English with a robust poetry.’ Helen Dunmore, The Times

    ‘Adichie succeeds in tackling the horrors of this war, imbuing her portrayal of three disparate characters … with warmth, wisdom and an acute insight into human nature.’ Daily Telegraph

    ‘This powerful, delicate, intimate novel focuses on an individual’s thoughts and emotions, the subtleties of human relationships and the psychological legacies of colonialism.’ Observer

    ‘A powerful account of the Biafran War, horrific and tender in equal measure.’ Richard Eyre, Sunday Telegraph

    ‘A fresh examination of the ravages of war … a welcome addition to the corpus of African letters.’ TLS