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Book Club Series: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

“There are many different ways to be poor in the world but increasingly there seems to be one single way to be rich.” - Americanah`

We hope you enjoyed reading and discussing our inaugural book club selection. We're following it up with another thought-provoking pick for this month's Women for Women International book club discussion: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

What is Americanah about?

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah is about Ifemelu, a young Nigerian woman living in the United States, as she grows up in Nigeria, goes away, and

then goes back.  

Written by the multiple award-winning, feminist author famous for many novels, essays, and the TED talk “We Should All Be Feminists,” Adichie’s novel wraps together race, gender, immigration, class, hair, and many other ideas into a love story spanning several years and continents. 

As Ifemelu grows up in Nigeria, she learns about womanhood from those around her while later falling in love with classmate, Obinze. When she leaves for America to pursue higher education, Ifemelu loses touch with her lover and faces the challenges that come with immigration and life as a black woman in America.  

Resolute to return to Nigeria after many years, Ifemelu finds her home country both foreign and familiar, against the backdrop of a reignited romance.  

Fun fact: Throughout the book, Ifemelu blogs heavily – and Adichie made a version of that in-world blog for readers.  

Why should you join our book club?

At Women for Women International, we know that a global community is sustained by personal connections. And we believe that when we share our stories, we better understand womanhood around the world, how to support each other, and the path to gender equality.  

A core part of our approach is connecting with one another, whether in our communities or across the globe. By exploring the stories of women around the world and learning from them – and each other – we create those connections and foster a global community.  

Join us in celebrating women all around the world by championing their stories: As you read Americanah, share with us any insights the story inspires for you about women and the world.  

Tag us on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook with @WomenforWomen!

Discussion Questions 

We encourage readers to connect with each other or start book clubs with your own friends. Below are some discussion questions to help you get started and to think about as you read. Feel free to come up with your own – and share with us your reactions!  

  1. What are some of the ways the story portrays gender roles and expectations? How do those roles change based on where women are and who they are with? What didn’t change? 
  2. How does the story explore the way other identities, such as race and class, intersect with gender? What other identities are explored and how?  
  3. At its core a love story, Americanah follows many different relationships. How did gender and identity manifest in those relationships and affect them?