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"Half of a Yellow Sun", published in 2013, is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's second novel. Told through the angle of three different protagonists, the novel is set around the Biafran war which took place in Nigeria during the 1960s.

There is Olanna, a young woman from a wealthy Nigerian family who studied in London and works as a lecturer of sociology. The second focalizer, Ugwu, is the houseboy of Olanna and her partner Odenigbo, who grew up as poor village boy. And there is also Richard, a British journalist and the boyfriend of Olanna's sister Kainene. Through the eyes of these three characters who stem from very different backgrounds, the reader learns about their lives before the civil war - when days were centred around university careers and cocktail parties - as well as what each of them encounters during the years of the war which took the lives of at least 1 million Igbo people, mostly civilians who starved to death.

As Adichie reveals in her dedication of the book, the narrative tells the story of her grandparent's generation. Combining ficticious characters with true historical events, she creates an authentic and moving narrative written in a poetic style. Besides the overall narrative of the civil war, the novel subtly provides numerous other layers of meaning. Represented through the figure of Richard, the novel deals with the tensions between Nigeria and its former colonist Britain. Furthermore there are the dichotomies within Nigeria: between ethnicity, class, generations, and gender.

I admired Adichie's language, her ability to interweave history with such unique characters, her courage to tell the atrocities of the war her ancestors fought and suffered from. For me, "Half of a Yellow Sun" war an enriching and special read.

Autor: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Buch: Half of a Yellow Sun
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