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Half of a Yellow Sun

Narrated by: Zainab Jah
Length: 18 hrs and 10 mins
5 out of 5 stars (26 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 51.75
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Publisher's Summary

With effortless grace, celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie illuminates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra's impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in Southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s. We experience this tumultuous decade alongside five unforgettable characters: Ugwu, a 13-year-old houseboy who works for Odenigbo, a university professor full of revolutionary zeal; Olanna, the professor's beautiful young mistress who has abandoned her life in Lagos for a dusty town and her lover's charm; and Richard, a shy young Englishman infatuated with Olanna's willful twin sister, Kainene. Half of a Yellow Sun is a tremendously evocative novel of the promise, hope, and disappointment of the Biafran war.

©2017 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (P)2017 Random House Audio

What the critics say

"This prize-winning author's place in literary history is secured with [ Half of a Yellow Sun], a tribute to her people, the Igbo, who after being massacred in 1966 broke away from Nigeria to create the Republic of Biafra. [But] this novel is not a standard war account: Though we are not sheltered from its horrors, Adichie excels in the way she tells about war.... Her characters' strengths are in their complexity and their flaws.... Throughout the story, Adichie insists on accountability and then forgiveness as the only option for redemption.... By the end, after breaking our hearts, she uses her last sentence to blindside us with a gift. We never see it coming. With it, she offers hope in the future." (Marie-Elena John, Black Issues)
"[It's] hard not to place Adichie alongside a new generation of post-postcolonial writers who, while paying due respect to Achebe (and, for that matter, Kincaid, Naipaul, Gordimer, and Coetzee), are moving beyond them on their own terms.... Adichie's nuanced prose takes great pains to undo the reductive attitudes many in the West harbor toward African people.... And yet Adichie does not rant against the West.... [Criticism] and compassion coexist. She understands that it takes many hands to shape war.... For Adichie, pain unifies us, and it's often that same pain that keeps us from recognizing that unity.... Adichie's novel [has], a narrative humility coupled with an epic ambition.... Are there any easy answers in [ Half of a Yellow Sun]? Certainly not. But Adichie, in the process, asks the hell out of her questions, rendering them in all their haunting, beautiful silence." (Stephen Narains, Harvard Book Review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible story and amazing narration

I love Adichie's writing - it is very powerful, descriptive and creates very real atmospheres. I knew very little about Biafra when I began, and after reading (listening) to the book I ended up reading more on the history of the Biafran movement and present day struggles.
Zainab Jah's narration is incredible! She is on my list of new favourite narrators and hope she records more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful book

I didn't know anything about Nigeria's civil war and this book taught me so much, the emotions are so raw and deep . The characters point of view make it so interesting and engaging. It's beautifully written from beginning to end and even if you know how everything ends, is an amazing ride.

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  • Steven A.
  • 2018-05-21

Great book, but please have an actual African read it

Important and moving; I learned so much about the history of Nigeria/Biafra. But even I, the whitest white boy, cringed at mispronunciations in this book. Mispronouncing Igbo in THIS novel is inexcusable and embarrassing.

Everyone go read this book; skip the audio

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Socklady
  • Matthews, NC
  • 2018-03-29

Rarely have I been so moved by a family story.

The narration is excellent, and Ms Jah is adept at using subtle voice changes to illustrate a conversation. The story of the family and all the characters is so compelling. I laughed, wept, groaned and felt breathless at times.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Perkbrooke
  • 2018-03-13

A Little Background Adjustment

This was read beautifully. How does one say it was enjoyed considering the story of a terrible war.
It was unfortunate that the author threw in the ugly American journalists bit when there were actually several journalists of the most noted newspapers...NYTimes, Los Angeles Times, Time/Life,Newsweek who made their homes in Nairobi Kenya and went to Biafra risking their lives to tell the story of this horrible war. They traveled together to Biafra and when Priya Ramrakha, the Time/Life photographer,was shot in a Biafran ambush, these journalists carried him as best they could to safety. He bled to death. I know this to be true as my former husband was one of them. These journalists cared about what was happening in Africa. They tried to communicate the real story.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • robert
  • 2018-08-28

Gives me a better perspective of the Biafran war

It was indeed a great book as it gave me perspective of the Nigerian civil war.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Bethany
  • 2018-03-05

love it!

Half of a Yellow Sun is a really great book. It gives readers a glimpse into the life of Nigerian people, as well as what people go through when they are targeted by their own government and they have to fight to survive.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Maria Elisa Flores
  • Miami
  • 2018-02-09

Wonderful writing! Human and touching

Loved the book while reading and listening to it. Although reading it is a true pleasure, listening to the audiobook added a different wonderful dimension to it. Listening to the African sounds and pronunciations and feeling it’s energy is fun and enriching.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Av8ist
  • 2018-08-06

Good book, sad ending

I didn't know anything about the Nigerian civil war or even that they had one before this book. I didn't realize what kind of story I was getting myself into. I come away with learning about some history. But the last few chapters left me feeling depressed :( I didn't enjoy that aspect, and rarely do I come across a book with a sad ending. I gave 4 stars for the depressing ending. The book was well written. I was throughly engaged and immersed in the story with the characters, I could feel myself being there in the scenes and feeling my emotions as if I were there.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • S. D. Singleton
  • Charlotte, NC
  • 2019-02-02

wonderful book, emotionally riveting, and humbling

I read this book after hearing about the author. And immediately fell in love with the book and could not put it down from cover to cover. I read it again, as I suggested it for a book club. Going through the book again as an audible, hearing the words in a human voice hopefully will humble you as a human to the struggles that we face is humans. Struggles that we put ourselves through as humans. Hopefully one day we will evolve to not cause this type of pain to one another. that's where this book brought me. I praise the author for writing this book and shedding a historical light on a story often not told in America about world history. Especially if it occurs on the African continent.

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  • Shops-A-Lot
  • 2019-01-22

awesome narration!

the author's writing is vivid and beautiful, but is exquisitely animated bye the narration of Zainab Jah.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Tia D Sinclair
  • 2019-01-06

I Feel Cheated - Audible Messed Up

I will have to read this book myself or listen again. The fact that the book downloaded in two parts is not the problem; The problem is that there was no advanved notification of this . The book in fact, downloaded reversed - with the second part before the first and was numbered in the library in sequential order. As a result, I heard the second part of the book before the beginning. I feel cheated from experiencing the story in the way the author intended.