Beyond Bestsellers: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is known for her nonfiction focusing on feminism, and her novels featuring diverse characters and a strong sense of place.  Through her novels set chiefly in Nigeria and the United States, readers experience culture through story.  Adichie does not shy away from the tough subjects.  Her works are haunting, moving, and politically pointed, cutting right to the heart of the issues of the day.  However, she beautifully balances dark with light through generous dashes of hope, compassion, and joy, all wrapped up in lush language.  Ultimately, readers find that Adichie's stories stay with them long after they've turned the final page.

If you're looking for similar books by different authors, there are options.  Let's take a look at just a few possibilities based on what you might enjoy most about Adichie's novels.

Incisive & Complex - A Bit of Difference

In this atmospheric tale, Deola, a Nigerian woman living in London, is unsatisfied with her life.  She returns to Nigeria as part of her work for an international charity.  The timing of the trip enables her to attend a family event and she begins to reflect on the land of her birth and its people in a new way.  This is a richly detailed and deeply moving tale of the inherent challenges of straddling two very different worlds.

Culture Through Story - We Need New Names

NoViolet Bulawaya's haunting novel follows  the 10-year-old Darling who lives with a group of friends in Paradise, a Zimbabwean shantytown.  Finding food is a daily struggle, so they make it a game.  After moving to the American Midwest for a better life with a relative, Darling struggles to find meaning and understand the ways in which her new life is so vastly different from the old one.

Strong Sense of Place - All Our Names

Set in the early 1970s, the story is told through parallel narratives, one from an African writer, and another from an American social worker.  Each narrator tells of a man named Isaac.  One knows him as a fiercely dedicated revolutionary, the other as an African refugee.  The narrative slips effortlessly between an Africa struggling to escape colonial rule and an America steeped in racial tensions.

Ready to read beyond Adichie?

Sno-Isle Libraries is offering unlimited access to the digital audiobook of Interpreter of Maladies by Jumpha Lahiri for the entire month of October.  Like the works of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, this collection of short stories lets readers experience culture through story and view the world through the author’s personal lens.  Enjoy a bittersweet, thought-provoking journey into the culture and traditions of India along with the challenges faced by immigrants of blending into American society.

Check out Beyond Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on OverDrive for even more downloadable Adichie read-alikes.

Check out these suggestions for a condensed list of titles designed to help you move beyond Adichie.