The Guardian’s readers shared their favorite books by female authors ahead of International Women’s Day and in celebration of life-changing, beautiful, and inspiring stories by women.
Here is one of the entries left by a reader on Americanah:
“Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book Americanah has moved me like no other in recent memory. I would describe it as transformational because it provided an insight into the reality of what it means to be a young, ambitious, highly-intelligent, sometimes single black woman in contemporary America. It’s an honest book about race, identity, and the constant longing and nostalgia one feels for this metaphorical place called home. I was also moved by the story because it touchingly describes the loving relationship between the two central characters, showcasing that neither space nor time can erase love. We usually go back to the same desires and preferences we had as 15-year-olds, and Americanah captures this sentiment. Moreover, it is a transformational book because it portrays Nigeria as a place that is mythical, marvelous, chaotic and slightly dangerous, yet also wildly-fascinating, with a magnetic power to attract its brightest émigrés back to its shores. Reading this has made me realize that some of the most powerful narratives in contemporary fiction have been written by young, highly-educated female African writers, who are tired of the old clichés frequently bandied around about Africa. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a new, powerful, and incredibly talented voice; her novel Americanah is the expression of a different African tale, of a continent and its people that have many more magnetic stories to tell, as well as critiques to raise about the so-called enlightened West.”