‘Ghana must go’ and ‘Americanah’ : The Afropolitans Books Everyone is Talking About

THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN AFROKANLIFE.COM

In the literary word, two young African writers are creating a lot of buzz this spring. Indeed, two new books are being released and it’s all about Afropolitans and their relation to the motherland.

1-Ghana must go by Taiye Selasi released March 2013

“Ghana Must Go is at once a portrait of a modern family and an exploration of the importance of where we come from to who we are. In a sweeping narrative that takes us from Accra to Lagos to London to New York, Ghana must go teaches that the truths we speak can heal the wounds we hide”.

GhanaMustGo

“Ghana Must Go” is the author debut novel. Who is she? She is a half Ghanaian, half Nigerian who was born in England and raised in Massachusetts. She graduated summa cum laude from Yale before returning to England to earn an M.Phil. in International Relations from Oxford. The author has been mentored by Toni Morrison and endorsed by Salman Rushdie. She described herself as an“Aprolitanwhich refers to internationally mobile, young people of African descent, making their mark on the world”. Still not convinced that you should read this book?  Here is what is being said about the book around the world:

Her 2005 essay “What Is an Afropolitan?” gave a face to a class of sophisticated, cosmopolitan young Africans who defy downtrodden stereotypes…Ghana Must Go – named after the Nigerian phrase directed at incoming Ghanaian refugees during political unrest in the 80s – is one of the most hyped debuts of recent times-  The guardian

 Ambitious” is one of those words that shift shape as they cross the Atlantic, as Tai ye Selasi is certainly aware. Selasi has written an ambitious first novel — and I mean that in the best, American sense of the word – The New-York Times

Ghana Must Go comes with a bagload of prepublication praise. For once, the brouhaha is well deserved. Ms Selasi has an eye for the perfect detail …. Miss out on “Ghana Must Go” and you will miss one of the best new novels of the season – The Economist 

Ghana Must Go is a tight story with awesome symmetry, which is no big shock from a writer whose short fiction debut The Sex Lives of African Girls (Granta 2011) was strong enough to help land her a book deal with Penguin imprint Hamish Hamilton even before she’d finished her first novel – Think Africa Press

2-Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie Ngozi released May 2013

044889-FC222“As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are leaving the country if they can. Ifemelu–beautiful, self-assured–departs for America to study…Years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Female has achieved success as a writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. But when Female returns to Nigeria, and she and Obinze reignite their shared passion–for their homeland and for each other–they will face the toughest decisions of their lives…Fearless, gripping, at once darkly funny and tender, spanning three continents and numerous lives, Americanah is a richly told story set in today’s globalized world: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s most powerful and astonishing novel yet…”

Practically, everyone in this planet knows Ms Ngozi Adichie. If you don’t, please watch this video before going any further. Chinua Achebe has been called the father of modern African literature,
but she has been called the most prominent of a new generation of African writers.  Her new book will be released in Australia (1st April 2013), in the UK (11th April 2013) and finally the 14th of May 2013 for US & Canada’s fans. What is ‘Americanah’? It is the term used in Nigeria for people who have become Americanized, who go to America and return with a different accent and an exaggerated sense of superiority. Sounds familiar? Think people who go to France for instance. I personally love the fact that one of the characters is a blogger.

This author is virtually into every must-read list of any self-proclaimed bookworm or should I say of every Afropolitan (see previous author). So why is everyone excited about her new book? We know she is good, right?  Here is what is being said about the book worldwide:

“Superb … a large, ambitious book … powerful, heartfelt and evocative. Once again Adichie excels with her depiction of Nigeria …The dialogue sparkles … she is a writer of huge talent who just keeps getting better”  – Literary Review

Adichie writes superb dialogue straight from the mouth of her people … … This is a delicious, important novel from a writer with a great deal to say “ The Times

This is an impressive novel – although very different from Adichie’s Orange prize-winning Half of a Yellow Sun, it shares some of its freewheeling, zesty expansiveness. But that should not disguise its delicacy; it is also an extremely thoughtful, subtly provocative exploration of structural inequality, of different kinds of oppression, of gender roles, of the idea of home  – The Guardian                                                                                                                                                                                           

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11 responses to “‘Ghana must go’ and ‘Americanah’ : The Afropolitans Books Everyone is Talking About

  1. I just loved Ghana Must go, but afterward I felt like, despite her Ghanian characters, there was little about Africa. I identified so strongly with her characters that I think I dismissed how they were different from me. I wondered if she wrote for an international audience rather than an African one.

  2. I’ve read Americanah and I thoroughly enjoyed it, highly recommended! I’ve written my thoughts on my blog. Now to Ghana Must Go.

  3. Pingback: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | Under the Neem Tree·

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