Inspiring Travel Books: Americanah

AmericanahThe pickings for books in English were slim all the way across Russia.  I read a lot of Jack Reacher books that I found in hostel book exchanges (I actually finished two Jack Reacher novels on the bus between Ulaanbaatar and Ulan Ude!).  However, the further west I headed the more likely I was to find a bookstore with a few English selections, and in Moscow I stumbled across Americanah, by Chimanda Ngozi Adichie.  The foreign edition that I purchased actually had a much more evocative cover, but don’t be put off by the simplicity of the printing in my photo… this is a complex book!  It tells the story of Ifemelu, a Nigerian woman who moves to America and achieves many of her dreams… but still harbours feelings for her childhood love, and her childhood culture, in Nigeria.  This book helped me to better understand the experiences of African immigrants in English-speaking countries, but more importantly it got me thinking about the possibility of leaving my current home and moving back overseas.  If Ifemelu could make it work, maybe I can too… I highly recommend Americanah for anyone feeling unsettled in their current environment.  (Also, it looks like Lupita Nyong’o is going to be starring in the film version shortly… you should grab this book before everyone else jumps on the bandwagon!)

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