Africa,  Book Reviews,  FICTION,  Prize Winner

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie ** (of 4)

I was so disappointed. The book is billed as the great retelling of the Igbo battle for their independent state of Biafra separate from the oppressive, corrupt, military regime of 1960s Nigeria. Maybe the book finally gets to it, but first there are more than 150 pages of love story to establish stock characters: a wealthy, educated Nigerian princess in love with a firebrand African nationalist, her elusive business woman, twin sister in love with an impotent Brit (get it?, impotent British boyfriend in love with Nigeria, but incapble of acting appropriately beyond being in love with business opportunities), and a poor servant boy. After 200 something pages I gave up because the characters seemed drawn up for a graduate writing class and I didn’t really care enough about them to find out how the war would impact their love lives. The book has won awards and received amazing reviews; many others like it a lot more than I did. June 2007.