I’m thrilled to see that Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie won the Bailey’s ‘Best of the Best’ prize. The idea was to pick one book out of the ten winners during the second decade of the Bailey’s/Orange Prize. How tough of a job must that be?!
Half of a Yellow Sun was book number 12 in my book-from-every-country project and reading it was an intense experience. Book number 12 is a long time ago now! Going back and reading what I wrote about it reminded me of how much it occupied my brain while I was reading it. While falling asleep or walking to work, my thoughts kept returning to those characters, wondering where they were headed.
Since then I’ve read all of Adichie’s other books. They’re all good, but none of them had the same impact on me that Half of a Yellow Sun did. In retrospect, I think it is the depth of the characters that really shines. There are so many characters that inspired my affection as a reader, but at the same time they were all complicated and flawed in important ways. Probably reading the book early on in my journey also made it have more of an impact on me.
Anyway, congratulations Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie!