International Organization: Americanah Reading Group

Each semester GEFs are required to join a campus group with an international focus. In past semesters, I have been a part of CESL, OU Cousins, and OU Spanish club as a part of this requirement. This semester I went a slightly different route and joined an honors reading group with some international friends to read Americanah, a book about a Nigerian woman who returns to Nigeria after spending a good chunk of her life in the U.S. The book, by the incredible Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, touches a lot on the racial tension in the U.S., the culture shock experienced even upon “going home,” and the complexities of life as an immigrant. Overall, I have really enjoyed the novel and would definitely recommend it. It has a very interesting perspective on many serious issues facing America today even though it is fictional.

I feel especially lucky to have read the book with the group I did. The group moderator is actually an exchange student from Nigeria which I felt added a whole new level of meaning to the readings. She was able to offer insight into the culture in ways that really enriched the novel. It was also kind of funny because throughout the book she was really keen on getting the “American perspective” on Nigerian culture as presented in the novel. It was fun to read it with so much context for the Nigerian culture in which much of it takes place and I am grateful I had that opportunity.

On the whole, this book confirmed my love of Adichie and I look forward to reading more of her writing.

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