Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s literary wonder, Americanah is not just a national favourite, but has been voted the number one book New Yorkers want to shun their Twitter timelines to read. How’s that for some real Black Girl Magic?
The One Book, One New York program was launched by the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and Buzzfeed Books in February 2017, to offer New York residents the chance to vote for five books nominated by five celebrities.
Americanah explores complex issues of race, immigration and (yes) hair, through the eyes of Ifemelu, a young woman who leaves Nigeria in search of the mysterious American dream. The novel, which topped the list of The New York Times’s best books of the year, beat out Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, The Sellout by Paul Beatty and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Chimamanda said, “To get any kind of recognition is just lovely, but this is really, really lovely, and I think it’s because I have so much respect for the other books, and I think they are just really fantastic books. When you’re in good company, it’s a good thing.”
In these times where difficult discussions about immigration are at the forefront of discourse in the United States, Chimamanda also hopes that Americanah will encourage much-needed conversations. “Some of these conversations might not be the most comfortable, but that they are ultimately affirming, and ultimately it leads to – and I know it sounds a bit cheesy – but that idea of unity and diversity,” the author stated.