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Fixed on Fiction


For our August meeting, Fixed on Fiction met to discuss Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie-

From the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun, a dazzling new novel: a story of love and race centered around a young man and woman from Nigeria who face difficult choices and challenges in the countries they come to call home. 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. She suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships and friendships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze—the quiet, thoughtful son of a professor—had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in, and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.Years later, Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. But when Ifemelu 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.

-Summary courtesy of Goodreads.

Overall, Americanah was very well-received among Fixed on Fiction readers as it received eight thumbs-up votes and three so-so votes. Here are some of the initial thoughts readers shared while explaining their votes:

  • Thumbs up. I enjoyed reading about a culture that I would have never known about.
  • I also thought that learning about a different culture was very interesting. I loved this new perspective and I loved her writing style.
  • So-So. I just had a hard time getting into it.
  • There were parts I really liked. I learned a lot about Nigeria. But there were too many blog entries and too many mentions of hair. It also felt a bit long.
  • I loved it so much that I had to go to book group. I like any book that sounds authentic. This could be any immigrant’s experience. I also thought the parallel stories kept the plot moving.
  • What a fantastic author! I appreciated the humor and was thankful that it wasn’t overly depressing. Very readable. Very smart.
  • I really enjoyed all of the little observations…like how Ifemelu’s friends mentioned that they loved Obama because he married a woman with a darker complexion.
  • This was slow reading for me. I ended up skimming the ending. I thought the blog entries were way too repetitive.
  • I listened to this on audio while also reading the print. The narrator was so good and her accents were amazing. Good writing that was transparent…embodies showing not telling. This is the power of fiction- to speak the truth and create the opportunity for empathy in the reader. I needed time to absorb it every day and process it emotionally.
  • There were a lot of prophetic statements when this was published in 2013…such as political issues in Great Britain. I enjoyed the blog posts- I felt like she was building the whole story around them.

Other Thoughts-


  • I would have never thought about the fact that Ifemelu’s natural hair wasn’t “acceptable.” It’s sad that she felt like she had to straighten her hair and change her accent at one point.
  • I liked the conversation about proverbs. Interesting to see different ways of thinking.
  • On the ending: They were in love…it made sense that they would end up together. Although I appreciated that Ifemelu didn’t need any of the men she dated.
  • I have mixed feelings about the ending. Not a totally good thing as Obinze was married.
  • I loved the ending. They were soul mates. It also felt more realistic.

These are just a few of the comments made during our meeting, please feel free to share additional thoughts on Americanah in the comments section below.


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