Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Half of a Yellow Sun

Written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Shortlisted for the Best of the Orange Best 2010 by the Orange Prize Youth Panel.

Winner of the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction 2007.
Reviewed on Richard & Judy on Wednesday 14 March 2007. Nigeria in the 1960s and the birth of Biafra, a time of conflict and the end of colonialism. We experience this strife through the household of a university lecturer. It is a tale of class more than race, of tribal differences and of the horrors of the period. It is immensely impressive, a big novel in every sense. Highly recommended.


Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Winner of the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction 2007, this is a heartbreaking, exquisitely written literary masterpiece. This highly anticipated novel from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is set in Nigeria during the 1960s, at the time of a vicious civil war in which a million people died. The three main characters in the novel are swept up in the violence during these turbulent years. One is a young boy from a poor village who is employed at a university lecturer's house. The other is a young middle-class woman, Olanna, who has to confront the reality of the massacre of her relatives. And the third is a white man, a writer who lives in Nigeria for no clear reason, and who falls in love with Olanna's twin sister, a remote and enigmatic character. As these people's lives intersect, they have to question their own responses to the unfolding political events. This extraordinary novel is about Africa in a wider sense: about moral responsibility, about the end of colonialism, about ethnic allegiances, about class and race; and about the ways in which love can complicate all of these things.


'Heartbreaking, funny, exquisitely written and, without doubt, a literary masterpiece and a classic.'

'Stunning. It has a ramshackle freedom and exuberant ambition.'

'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.'

'Absolutely awesome. One of the best books I've ever read.'

'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 .'

'Rarely have I felt so there, in the middle of all that suffering. 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.'

'Here is a new writer endowed with the gift of ancient storytellers.'

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

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

'This magnificent novel is a gripping portrayal of the horrors of war!A major new African voice.'

'This powerful, delicate, intimate novel focuses on the individuals'


'Books of the Year'

'A powerful account of the Biafran War, horrific and tender in equal measure.'

'Books of the Year'

'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 'An incredibly absorbing book'. Kele Okereke, in the Observer 'Books of the Year 'A fresh examination of the ravages of war!a welcome addition to the corpus of African letters.'
Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who grew up in Nigeria, was shortlisted for the 2002 Caine Prize for African Writing. Her work has been selected by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and the BBC Short Story Awards and has appeared in various literary publications, including Zoetrope and The Iowa Review.

Author photograph by Marco Del Grande


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Half of a Yellow Sun is a stunning book throughout, set in 1960’s Nigeria as it erupts into the Biafran War of secession. There is so much I loved about this book, the crisp narration that never balks from taking the reader into the darkest corners of man’s nature, the relationship between the twin sisters Olanna and Kainene, the clashing of their different natures and the divergent paths they follow.

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Book Info




Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
More books by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


HarperPerennial an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Publication date

15th January 2007




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