Half of a Yellow Sun

By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


Set in Nigeria during the 1960s, at the time of a vicious civil war in which a million people died. This novel contains the three main characters who get swept up in the violence during these turbulent years. It is about Africa, about the end of colonialism, about class and race; and the ways in which love can complicate these things.

Year of Publication


'We do not usually associate wisdom with beginners, but here is a new writer endowed with the gift of ancient storytellers.' Chinua Achebe '!deserves to be nominated for the Booker prize!political events are never dryly recited; rather they are felt through the medium of lived lives, of actual aching sensitive experiences!I look with awe and envy at this young woman from Africa who is recording the history of her country!' Edmund White 'I was swept along...rarely have I felt so there, in the middle of all that suffering. I wasted the last fity pages, reading them far too greedily and fast, because I couldn't bear to let go. There are not many novels where war is seen mainly from the women's point of view, rather than that of the soldier, which makes this one double valuable...a magnificent second novel -- and can't fail to find the readership it deserves and demands.' Margaret Forester 'Vividly written, thrumming with life ! a remarkable novel. In its compassionate intelligence as in its capacity for intimate portraiture, this novel is a worth successor to such 20th-century classics as Chinua Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" and V.S. Naipaul's "A Bend in the River".' Joyce Carol Oates Praise for 'Purple Hibiscus': '"Purple Hibiscus" is the best debut I've read since Arundhati Roy's "The God of Small Things".' Jason Cowley, literary editor of the New Statesman 'A sensitive and touching story of a child exposed too early to religious intolerance and the uglier side of the Nigerian state.' J. M. Coetzee 'This is the best new novel to have come out of Africa in some years. Like its young protagonist, it is a work of undemonstrative but rare feeling and intelligence; and it gives us one of the most fascinating and perturbing patriarchs of recent literature. But its special magic lies in conveying that, however devastated a childhood might be, it still has an unrepeatable, dream-like quality.' Amit Chaudhuri

Author Biography

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria in 1977. She is from Abba, in Anambra State, but grew up in the university town of Nsukka, where she attended primary and secondary schools. She went on to receive a BS in Communication and Political Science from Eastern Connecticut State University and an MA from Johns Hopkins University, both in the United States. Her short fiction has been published in literary journals including Granta, and won the International PEN/David Wong award in 2003. 'Purple Hibiscus', her first novel, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and was winner of the Hurston/Wright Legacy award for debut fiction. She will be a Hodder fellow at Princeton University for the 2005-2006 academic year. She lives in Nigeria.