African Bookclub: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun

  • Chika Anyanwu

Press/Media: Press / Media

Description

Half of a Yellow Sun is the symbol for an imagined country, Biafra, a country that in the end didn't exist. This is a country that came to symbolise African famine and death in the West; whereas inside Nigeria it was the focus of a civil war.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novelĀ Half of a Yellow SunĀ tells the story of a number of intersecting characters just before and during the years of the civil war in the 1960s. Ugwu is a 'houseboy' whose life changes throughout the novel. He works for Odenigbo, an academic and big talker, who may or not be a revolutionary. He is in a relationship with Olanna, a powerful character who has a rather spiky relationship with her twin sister Kainene.

This is a novel of personal daily detail and of huge national consequence. It moves from one to the other, while showing the brutality of war.

Adichie's novel was published in 2006, and she won the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction.

Joining Sarah Kanowski to discuss the novel are writer and Sinologist Linda Jaivin, who counts this as one of her favourite books; radio producer and emerging writer Mawunyo Gbogbo, who is reading the book for the first time; and film academic Chika Anyanwu, who read the novel when it first came out, and who himself lived through the civil war.

Have you read the book? What impact did it have on you? Did it shape or change your ideas of Nigeria, or what you knew of Biafra? If you are from Nigeria yourself, how does it sit with other stories of the war? What it its relationship to a fraught national or collective memory? How do you rate its writing, its style, the complexity of language?

Period26 Feb 2016

Media contributions

1

Media contributions

  • TitleAfrican Bookclub: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media name/outletABC Radio National
    Media typeRadio
    CountryAustralia
    Date26/02/16
    DescriptionHalf of a Yellow Sun is the symbol for an imagined country, Biafra, a country that in the end didn't exist. This is a country that came to symbolise African famine and death in the West; whereas inside Nigeria it was the focus of a civil war.

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel Half of a Yellow Sun tells the story of a number of intersecting characters just before and during the years of the civil war in the 1960s. Ugwu is a 'houseboy' whose life changes throughout the novel. He works for Odenigbo, an academic and big talker, who may or not be a revolutionary. He is in a relationship with Olanna, a powerful character who has a rather spiky relationship with her twin sister Kainene.

    This is a novel of personal daily detail and of huge national consequence. It moves from one to the other, while showing the brutality of war.

    Adichie's novel was published in 2006, and she won the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction.

    Joining Sarah Kanowski to discuss the novel are writer and Sinologist Linda Jaivin, who counts this as one of her favourite books; radio producer and emerging writer Mawunyo Gbogbo, who is reading the book for the first time; and film academic Chika Anyanwu, who read the novel when it first came out, and who himself lived through the civil war.

    Have you read the book? What impact did it have on you? Did it shape or change your ideas of Nigeria, or what you knew of Biafra? If you are from Nigeria yourself, how does it sit with other stories of the war? What it its relationship to a fraught national or collective memory? How do you rate its writing, its style, the complexity of language?
    URLwww.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/booksandarts/african-bookclub:-chimamanda-ngozi-adichies-half-of-a-yellow-s/7170902
    PersonsChika Anyanwu