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Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche

Perhaps I have been reading too much SF lately, but this book didn’t work for me.

An open book, a white ceramic mug, and a blanket rest upon a couch.
Photo by Sixteen Miles Out on Unsplash

Perhaps I have been reading too much SF, but this work of contemporary literary fiction didn’t sit well with me. It was “literary” and “contemporary” in a way that had a somewhat bitter taste, like black tea that’s steeped too long. Not exactly a bad read, but it certainly didn’t live up to the hype.

The plot felt mundane and predictable, and the inclusion of frequent racial commentary and blog posts (while interesting) felt like a form of pandering to a progressive, white, upper-class audience. I don’t think Adiche meant it as such, but like I said: I’ve been reading too much SF. For me, Americanah‘s racial commentary just felt shallow and tame after reading Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti and Victor LaValle’s The Ballad of Black Tom.


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