After enjoying Purple Hibiscus so much, I wasn't sure Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's sophomore effort, Half of a Yellow Sun (Alfred A. Knopf, 2006) would live up to expectations. Did it ever. In a word, wow. Tells the story of the secession of the short-lived Republic of Biafra from Nigeria in 1967, and the civil war that followed, through the eyes of three characters: Ugwu, who grows from a naive peasant teenaged houseboy to college professor Odenigbo into a cynical young man and soldier over the course of the novel; Olanna, Odenigbo's beautiful mistress, whose independent streak leads her to reject the privileged life of her wealthy parents; and Richard, the British expat and aspiring journalist with perpetual writer's block who falls in love with Odenigbo's twin sister Kainene. Beautiful and sad.
- Ithaca, New York
- MWF, now officially 42, loves long walks on the beach and laughing with friends ... oh, wait. By day, I'm a mid-level university administrator reluctant to be more specific on a public forum. Nights and weekends, though, I'm a homebody with strong nerdist leanings. I'm never happier than when I'm chatting around the fire, playing board games, cooking up some pasta, and/or road-tripping with my family and friends. I studied psychology and then labor economics in school, and I work in higher education. From time to time I get smug, obsessive, or just plain boring about some combination of these topics, especially when inequality, parenting, or consumer culture are involved. You have been warned.