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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Baileys Prize Best of the Best

Winner of the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction 2007, this is a heartbreaking, exquisitely written literary masterpiece.

Ugwu, a boy from a poor village, works as a houseboy for a university professor. Olanna, a young woman, has abandoned her life of privilege in Lagos to live with her charismatic new lover, the professor. And Richard, a shy English writer, is in thrall to Olanna's enigmatic twin sister. As the horrific Biafran War engulfs them, they are thrown together and pulled apart in ways they had never imagined.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's masterpiece, winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction, is a novel about Africa in a wider sense: about the end of colonialism, ethnic allegiances, class and race - and about the ways in which love can complicate all of these things.

©2016 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

Critic Reviews

"Vividly written, thrumming with life...a remarkable novel. In its compassionate intelligence as in its capacity for intimate portraiture, this novel is a worthy successor to such twentieth-century classics as Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart and V. S. Naipaul's A Bend in the River." (Joyce Carol Oates)
"Here is a new writer endowed with the gift of ancient storytellers." (Chinua Achebe)
"[Deserves] a place alongside such works as Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy and Helen Dunmore's depiction of the Leningrad blockade, The Siege." ( The Guardian)
"Heartbreaking, funny, exquisitely written and, without doubt, a literary masterpiece and a classic." ( Daily Mail)
"Stunning. This novel is an immense achievement." ( The Observer)

What listeners say about Half of a Yellow Sun

Average Customer Ratings
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I loved the book and narrator

The book is good you feel different emotions and learn that things can happen in life , money is vanity.The narrator was dooo. She knows how to pronounce every Igbo words make me fall in love with the way she said Kedu😍😍😍

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Very well written, brilliantly narrated

Half of a Yellow Sun is an account of war-torn Nigeria and has been very well written. Chimamanda Adichie is a fantastic writer and her words flow beautifully. The story overall however while good, is not her best work. The narrator Zainab Jah was really wonderful and this book was so much better as a listen because she could pronounce and enunciate all of the Igbo words that were written. Overall it is worth a one-time read/listen.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Alfie
  • 19-11-18

Very well narrated

Good book and very well narrated, I really enjoyed the writing, but these characters were hard to love sometimes

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kainene
  • 07-08-18

Zainab Jha ....my hero

I tried to watch the movie but zainab’s voice and role play really suited me better!,, And obviously no one could ever be so successful turning a beautiful book into a movie. For example my imagination of Olanna was so strikingly different than the olana in the movie..

Chimamanda is really one of my favorite authors right now. And I really hope zainab jha reads more books on audible I’m in love with her Nigerian accent. Please oh.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gustavo
  • 05-05-20

The Best book by Chimamanda that I've read.

Surprising insiders view about this important historical event! Making the world hear what it must

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-12-19

best literary experience of my life.

This book was out of this world amazing. upon finishing I was in disbelief that it ended and I whispered to myself "that was intense." I don't think I'll ever read anything that's better than this.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Foxpearl
  • 23-01-19

Devastating and gorgeous

I felt that some of the characters were so real, so relatable, that I cried when the book ended and wanted to immediately reread it. I also felt the shame and guilt of being from the West and knowing nothing about this period of history or much of anything about post-colonial Africa.

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  • Dreamer
  • 31-01-18

what a beautiful sad enthralling tale!

what a beautiful sad enthralling tale! I loved this book. it took me a long time to finally buy it- I'd had I was good, but I'm scared of sad stories. Now I'm glad I finally got around to read it. Excellent story telling Ms Adichie!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-03-21

Chimamanda is my favorite writer. Read every word!

what powerful women. After just finishing the CSW65 at the UN for the advancement of women's rights, the stories of these three characters are powerful lessons to learn from.

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  • Israel
  • 13-12-20

The Failings of a Revolution

Great narrative of the realities of war, and the failings of a revolution. The foul language and explicit sex scenes did make for some awkward moments while listening with the kids.....; nothing that the fast-forward button couldn't take care of.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-10-20

Exceptional, heartfelt and authentic

Chimamanda's writing paired with Zainab Jah's performance created a perfect listening experience. Highly recommended.
Exceptional.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-05-20

civil war

interesting! looking at the war through an eyes of an insider. they are facts that have not been said... educative and entertaining.

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  • julie
  • 19-10-17

In my living memory

I remember the terrible pictures of Biafran babies, I had a friend who was a Nigerian Ibo, she had been raised in the UK and I never knew the complexity of the story of those times. A magnificent book heartbreaking and extraordinary in the evil and goodness threaded through societies the world .
I will need to hear it again and again. Brilliantly read.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Michelle K O Oladapo
  • 05-07-18

Intriguing informative read

I started listening to this audiobook forgetting that it had anything to do with the Biafran Civil war and was pleasantly surprised by the sudden change in narrative.
It was a captivating read and a good introduction into the the circumstances that led to the war although the book didn’t give a complete unbiased account of what caused the war, it told the story of a tragedy from a family that will remain changed forever. Though it was fiction I’m sure this mirrored someones story.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Benry
  • 14-08-18

A masterpiece

Just about perfect. Adichie writes beautifully with a lightness of touch and a firmness of purpose. The narration by Zainab Jah is excellent. Through her you are there with Olana, Odenigbo, Baby and Ugwu as their comfortable world collapses and they struggle with the vicissitudes of life in newly - and shortly - independent Biafra.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs F.
  • 16-10-17

ezcellent

such a moving story. I didn't know the story of Biafra before and almost wish I didnt now. beautifully written and reaf

17 people found this helpful

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  • Mrs M Manderson
  • 04-08-18

An interesting African perspective

The story starts slowly but gets more intriguing as the chapters unfold. A long read but Chimamanda’s command of the English language is certainly exquisite. She beautifully describes even the smallest scenes and considerations. I was disappointed however, that it was not the voice or accent of a true Nigerian. Whilst it may go unnoticed by many, it lacked the authenticity being a reader of African descent who understands the accent. This is not a criticism of the reader who did do a great job in reading the story overall.

10 people found this helpful

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  • VDS
  • 01-06-18

The best book I've read in years

The description was so beautiful that I had to slow down my reading to make sure not a word is missed. I love the story, so rich and full of unexpected turns. I enjoyed learning a period of the Nigerian history.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Patricia B.
  • 20-09-18

Interesting story, well written and narrated

I know very little about African history and culture, and this book helped me have a glimpse into that.

8 people found this helpful

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  • vanessa s.
  • 25-06-18

Brilliant

What a great book. I was gripped. The narrator was excellent and her command of different voices and accents is impressive

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 31-07-18

A triumph of storytelling, wonderfully read

I did not want this book to end. A beautiful, heartbreaking, fierce and quiet story, everyone should read it. And Zainab Jah was the perfect storyteller. Certainly the best thing I've listened to on Audible, and one of my favourite books.

6 people found this helpful

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  • N16
  • 15-07-18

The world was silent when we died

A chance encounter with a Nigerian Uber driver led me to this book, his way to educate me on his family's struggle to be Biafran.

The story is cleverly told, weaving personal stories through a historical narrative. Read it and weep then realise the struggle is still very much on.

Brilliant narration and by the end of it I could speak a few phrases of Igbo to the amusement of my Nigerian colleagues.

Abu m onye Biafra.

6 people found this helpful

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  • JPR
  • 23-02-21

Well worth reading and brilliantly narrated!

The story of the effects of the Biafran War on ordinary people. I found the account of how lives were turned upside down by unwise idealists very moving. The novel was brought to life by the really brilliant narration who I give 5 stars plus! she was absolutely brilliant.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-12-20

Compelling extremely well written story

Story telling at its finest .
You felt you knew the characters personally and so became embroiled with them in their everyday lives and the impact on them of the devastating politics of the time and place.
I would recommend this book to everyone.
Easy to see why this was a prize winning author.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 18-05-20

absolutely immersive

amazing narration and storytelling, Chimamanda has a magic way with words. I took a while to get a handle on all the characters but it was worth it as the plot took off.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 22-04-20

Simply written, but lacking no heart.

A very special and engrossing exploration of a time and place most of us know nothing about.