As teenagers in a Lagos secondary school, Ifemelu and Obinze fall in love. Their Nigeria is under military dictatorship, and people are fleeing the country if they can. Ifemelu goes to America to study. She suffers defeats and triumphs, finds and loses relationships and friendships, all the while feeling the weight of something she never thought of back home: race. Obinze had hoped to join her, but post-9/11 America will not let him in and he plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.
Fifteen years later Obinze is a wealthy man in a newly democratic Nigeria, while Ifemelu has achieved success as a writer of an eye-opening blog about race in America. When Ifemelu returns to Nigeria and reunites with Obinze, they face the toughest decisions of their lives.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is the author of the story collection The Thing Around Your Neck and two novels, Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun, which won the Orange Prize and was a National Book Critics Circle finalist. She earned a master's degree in creative writing from Johns Hopkins University and an M.A. in African Studies from Yale University. A recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.
Presented in partnership with
Recorded On: Wednesday, July 31, 2013