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Passado na Nigéria no tempo da guerra de Biafra, o romance de Adichie mistura a trama com o contexto histórico com maestria. Sem dúvida, uma grande escritora. É bom ler a história da Nigéria contada pelos nigerianos.
It was the blurb that first caught my attention. Then the fact that the story is on the Nigerian Civil war I was researching at the time made me go for this book. I am glad I did.
This story of the poor Ugwu leaving the life he had known in his home village to work as a house help in Enugu, where he got trapped in the world of educated and refined people whose worlds and past mirror the complexities of Nigeria before, during and after the civil. The writing makes understanding the civil war a lot easier, and gives an insight of the various ethnicities (Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Fulani), especially the major ones, whose squabbling and shortsightedness plunged the land into so much misery that it is yet to fully recover from.
The story spans four decades and tells a story of Nigeria that is exemplary. It comes with Disciples of Fortune, and Things Fall Apart as novels I enjoyed in 2014. Stories that provide an insight into African life in this manner win my heart deeply.
Assim como tudo que Chimamanda escreve, é maravilhoso. A obra conta a história da guerra pela independência da Nigéria a partir do ponto de vista de seus personagens principais, mas não é somente um livro sobre guerra, e sim sobre amor, esperança, caráter, resistência, e humanidade. Não poderia recomendar mais a leitura.
I loved this book, it's now firmly in my top 10 of all time. It's beautiful and visceral and funny and devastating. Adichie is seriously talented, it feels as if every word is just... perfectly chosen. I loved all the characters (especially Ugwu) and the way they all develop realistically over the course of the book. I've never been to Nigeria, but the setting and characters felt closer and more real to me than any book I've read set in wartime Europe, which is really impressive (to me as a European). It's also a perfect example of historical fiction - you come away with a nuanced understanding of a time and place you'll never experience in real life.
I'm so conflicted about this book which I desperately wanted to love: it's an important story and one that, as Adichie herself says, needs to be told by an African writer - but my feeling is that the story of Biafra is too huge to be contained within a 400pp. 'popular' novel that also wants to tell personal stories of two couples, fraught family relationships, the education of a 'house-boy'...
There are times when this got too soapy for my tastes and the result is a kind of historically-lite tale that presses an awful lot of standard fictional buttons.
I guess I wanted more in-depth politics: the lead up to the secession of Biafra is quite powerfully done - but then suddenly it just exists and is at war and things get vague - we learn, for example, that there are Biafran car number-plates, a separate currency but no sense of any of these markers of a new state being established. And I wanted to understand more about the role of oil which, we learn, Biafra is still extracting and refining under the bombing of the Nigerian forces. Even the famous famine doesn't feel as visceral as it should as there's so much else going on - not least the enforced conscription of a main character at about 80% into the book.
Even Adichie's writing style seems to become more panoramic: at the start, it's vivid and immediate with very little exposition, and character being expressed via what people do and say. As the story proceeds, it becomes a bit more 'told' - though I like the fact that there is no omniscient narrator and we have a sense of contingency and reaction.
Overall, this is undoubtedly both ambitious and also a personally important topic for Adichie herself - I liked it but just didn't love it as much as I wanted.
This collection of intertwined experiences is a poignant display of the realities of war from many sides. It captures the imagination, questions everything from gender to ethnicity to colonialism and stares courageously and fearlessly in the face of the West. I love the staunch, relentless counter to the western influence in Africa on every page, in every quote or thought or character's presence. I feel incredibly privileged and humbled to have been able to read this.
I read Half a Yellow Sun to gain a better understanding Africa’s issues. My knowledge of the Biafran famine and preceding war came from childhood awareness, then came Feed the World and Ethiopia in my teens. This powerful and wonderfully written story gave me greater and sympathetic awareness of the horrors. Though I know you cannot read one fictional account about such a traumatic subject and say you’ve a full and rounded understanding. No matter how engrossing. I gave it four stars instead of five, because as a piece of fiction it left me low, then again it's a hard subject.
I came across this novel by accident in a review and read it partly because I knew little of the detail of Biafra despite it often being in the news along with Vietnam during my teenage years. I enjoyed the characters immensely and found them alive and believable which gave me concern for them and engagement in their lives and fate. Sadly the human factors that create war are still there... our fear of the "other", our jealousy and passion, our ignorance and prejudice and our violent reactions to all of these. An interesting book in these times of worldwide political change and insecurity...