Half of a Yellow Sun

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Half of a Yellow Sun
AuthorChimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Country Nigeria
Publication date
January 15, 2007
Media typeNovel/Book

Half of a Yellow Sun is a book that was written by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in 2006, and was published by Knopf/Anchor. The book tells the story of two sisters Olanna and Kainene during the Biafran War.[1]

Awards[change | change source]

Half of a Yellow Sun won the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction in the women-only section.[2] The award is given annually for the best original full-length book; Adichie gained £30,000 as a reward for winning the prize.[2] Purple Hibiscus, her first novel, made the Orange Prize shortlist in 2004, and because of the success of Half a Yellow Sun, critics have said that Adichie may have even more success in the future.[2]

Reviews[change | change source]

The book got good reviews from critics, and it was included in The New York Times' 100 Most Notable Books of the Year,[3] as well as winning the Orange Prize. In a review for The Seattle Times, Mary Brennan talks about the book as "A sweeping story that provides both a harrowing history lesson and an engagingly human narrative".[4] The Guardian's Kate Kellaway said "An immense achievement, Half of a Yellow Sun has a ramshackle freedom and exuberant ambition," after reading the book.[5] The New York Times did a review of the book, saying some good and some bad things about the book.[1]

Political importance[change | change source]

The Nigerian Civil War began on July 6, 1967 and lasted until January 15, 1970.[6] The war began because of political struggles caused by the numerous attempts to secede from the southeastern provinces of Nigeria and create the Republic of Biafra. Political conflict between the Igbo’s, Yoruba’s, and the Hausa-Fulani ended up with two military coups. The Igbo tried to leave Nigeria to become the Republic of Biafra, but did not have very much support. From 1968 onward, the war was mostly a tie, with Nigerian forces unable to get an advantage over the Republic of Biafra. Many people died in the war, and even today there is still anger between the different ethnic and religious groups of Nigeria.

The story in Half of a Yellow Sun is centered around the war. The author has stated that many of the issues that caused the war remain today. She also said that the war is very talked about "in uninformed and unimaginative ways," and that the war is as important to the people today as it was in her book.[7] Because none of the major political events were changed in the book, Adichie said that the book had "emotional truth," and that the book showed the war had a large impact on the people of Nigeria.[7]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Nixon, Rob (October 1, 2006). "A Biafran Story". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-07-26.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Reynolds, Nigel (June 7, 2007). "Nigerian author wins top literary prize". The Telegraph. p. 1. Retrieved 2008-07-27.
  3. "100 Notable Books of the Year". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-18.
  4. Brennan, Mary. ""Half of a Yellow Sun": The sweeping story of a nation erased". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2008-07-27.
  5. Kellaway, Kate (2006-08-13). "Review: Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-07-27.
  6. Atofarati, Abubakar (1992). "THE NIGERIAN CIVIL WAR CAUSES, STRATEGIES AND LESSONS LEARNT". GlobalSecurity.org. Retrieved 2008-08-04.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "The Story Behind the Book". Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. 2007. Retrieved 2008-07-27.