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Purple Hibiscus: A Novel Kindle Edition
“One of the most vital and original novelists of her generation.” —Larissa MacFarquhar, The New Yorker
From the bestselling author of Americanah and We Should All Be Feminists
Fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja lead a privileged life in Enugu, Nigeria. They live in a beautiful house, with a caring family, and attend an exclusive missionary school. They're completely shielded from the troubles of the world. Yet, as Kambili reveals in her tender-voiced account, things are less perfect than they appear. Although her Papa is generous and well respected, he is fanatically religious and tyrannical at home—a home that is silent and suffocating.
As the country begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili and Jaja are sent to their aunt, a university professor outside the city, where they discover a life beyond the confines of their father’s authority. Books cram the shelves, curry and nutmeg permeate the air, and their cousins’ laughter rings throughout the house. When they return home, tensions within the family escalate, and Kambili must find the strength to keep her loved ones together.
Purple Hibiscus is an exquisite novel about the emotional turmoil of adolescence, the powerful bonds of family, and the bright promise of freedom.
About the Author
“A breathtaking debut. . .[Adichie] is very much the 21st-century daughter of that other great Igbo novelist, Chinua Achebe.”–The Washington Post Book World
"The author's straightforward prose captures the tragic riddle of a man who has made an unquestionably positive contribution to the lives of strangers while abandoning the needs of those who are closest to him."–The New York Times Book Review
"At once the portrait of a country and a family, of terrible choices and the tremulous pleasure of an odd, rare purple hibiscus blooming amid a conforming sea of red ones"--San Francisco Chronicle
“Prose as lush as the Nigerian landscape that it powerfully evokes. . . . Adichie's understanding of a young girl's heart is so acute that her story ultimately rises above its setting and makes her little part of Nigeria seem as close and vivid as Eudora Welty's Mississippi.”–The Boston Globe
"Adichie renders this coming-of-age story beautifully. Every character has dimension; every description resonates like cello music. . . . [Her] strong, lyrical voice earns her a place on the shelf squarely next to Gabriel Garc’a M‡rquez and Alex Haley and Chinua Achebe." --San Diego Union-Tribune
"A fiction writer’s job is to create a world so detailed, evocative and emotionally true that, like Alice, you fall into it. Adichie does exactly that, placing among the frangipani trees and bougainvillea of her native country a family demoralized and degraded by a father’s cruelty. Amazing.” --The Minneapolis Star Tribune
“[A] splendid debut.” —Vanity Fair
"Stunning. . . .With Purple Hibiscus, Adichie has established herself as a writer of enormous promise and with important stories to tell." --Bust
“Remarkable. Kambili’s voice is sensitive and unassuming. It is also, by turns, funny, full of young and passionate longing, and crushingly sad. In addition to its lovely, spare writing and complex characters, [Purple Hibiscus] has a swift, seamless story line and makes politically tumultuous and intricately textured Nigeria completely accessible. [Adichie is] a budding star on the rise." --The Hartford Courant
"A sensitive and touching story of a child exposed too early to religious intolerance and the uglier side of the Nigerian state." --J. M. Coetzee
"Adichie writes with subtlety and cleanliness. Her hushed tone and economy of words invoke a wise calm, and the inclusion of animals, flowers and trees as characters suggests a connectedness with the Earth and its forces that gives the narrative a romance and African sensibility. Elegant turns of phrase thrive throughout the work, along with a thousand themes.” --Black Issues Book Review
"A remarkably original debut, at once seductive, tender, and true. . . .Purple Hibiscus is the best debut I've read since Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things." --Jason Cowley, The Times (London) journalist and literary editor of New Statesman
"[A] wonderful debut. . . . Adichie skillfully blends the traditional story-as-parable approach with the more . . . introspective Western approach to novel writing. . . . Purple Hibiscus is more than entertainment. It is political satire and a call for change for a nation smothering under a lack of free speech." --San Antonio Express-News
“A novel of tragic beauty and exquisite tension. . . . A monumental literary achievement and a heartfelt prayer for Nigeria.” --Jervey Tervalon, author of Dead Above Ground and Understand This
“Radiant. . . . It takes an incredible talent to write knowingly about adolescent turmoil, the cultural ties that bind generations and the demanding forces that shape our lives. Adichie . . . possesses this genius. . . . Kambili’s story could be recreated anywhere, but not with the same intensity Adichie brings to this breathtaking novel.” —The Sanford Herald (Sanford, North Carolina)
“A heartfelt novel that sheds dramatic light on the ugly truths of family violence. Adichie has wrested moments of pure beauty and grace out of the siblings' quiet rebellion.” --Time Out New York
“Replete with beauty and horror, Adichie’s novel of self-hatred, fear and family, with its political/allegorical overtones, is a moving, sometimes breathtaking debut.” —Herald Sunday (Portsmouth, New Hampshire)
“Vivid, authoritative, and true to the experiences of a teenage girl in contemporary middle-class Nigeria. Kambili’s plainspoken narration adds texture to the novel. [Adichie is a] writer to watch.” --Boston Phoenix --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B00B78AIV0
- Publisher : Algonquin Books; 1st edition (April 17, 2012)
- Publication date : April 17, 2012
- Language : English
- File size : 1085 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 321 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1616202416
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #59,431 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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As for Adichie’s writing in the novel, her style and imagery created a beautiful depiction of Nigeria, often using personification. She showed appreciation for and celebration of Nigeria, resisting the mystification and other descriptions that have been used by colonial writers. She does similar work to Chinua Achebe as she infuses the Igbo language and the English language and writes her own version of the history of colonialism and its effects. Her work also shows similarity with the work of Tsitsi Dangarembga as she using a coming of age story to highlight the acquired hybridity and other elements of postcolonial identity. I would definitely recommend this book!
This peek into a life so many envy without understanding all it entails is lush with characters and plotlines that underscore how truly different the circumstances of others are generally only what is displayed. The truth of life is rarely what we are shown or what we show to others. Adichie deftly paints this understanding with balance and grace. Her prose is beautiful, even when laying bare the worst we, humanity, are capable of doing- especially to those whom we love most.
This novel is one not to be missed, especially for those who love reading. I am in awe of the talents that Ms. Adichie and am grateful for having the privilege to read her works. I couldn't find another book more worthy of recommendation and encourage all to seek out her other books, as well.
Kambili Achike is the daughter of Eugene Icheke, a successful (read: very wealthy) Igbo businessman in Nigeria, and owner of the _Standard_, an opposition newspaper for which he has won the Amnesty World award. He is very, extremely, Roman Catholic.
He is also an abusive father and husband. When his wife or child do something he regards as "sinful", he _has_ to punish them, to remind them of the Hell that awaits sinners. So he beats, he slaps, in one particularly horrific incident he pours boiling water on his childrens' feet. He always feels bad about it afterwards - seems to really - but that doesn't make it any better. Maybe worse.
But enough about him. The book is about Kambili, our narrator, and her brother Jaja (a nickname; his real name is Chukwuka). As the story begins, Kambili and her parents come home from Palm Sunday Mass, and Eugene has an anger-fit at Jaja, who had chosen not to go. He throws a heavy book at Jaja, who wisely ducks; the Missal strikes an étagére where their Mama keeps her porcelain figures of ballet dancers.
We then flash back to the previous year. Kambili disappoints her father by being the second-best in her grade. At school, she is considered a snob by the other girls, because she runs to the gate when school is over (because her father's driver is waiting with the car) rather than hanging around with them. She is having trouble studying - "The words in my textbooks kept turning to blood each time I read them."
In December, the Achekes take their annual trip to the huge house they keep in Abba, Eugene's ancestral village, where his father still lives. Eugene has all but cut off his father, who is a "traditionalist" who still prays to Chineke, the all-god of the old Igbo faith. Once a year he lets the children spend fifteen minutes with the man, and sends a small gift of money.
A day or so later, Eugene's sister, Aunty Ifeoma, arrives. She is a Catholic also, but a rather liberal professor of African studies at the University (where nobody has been paid for a long time). She talks Eugene into letting Kambili and Jaja come to visit her and her three chiildren. Here Kambili and Jaja taste something like freedom for the very first time, and the struggle is on; further Kambili falls (though she doesn't use the word) in deep crush with the Catholic chaplain, Father Amadi. .
This is not a happy-go-lucky tale. It is the tale of difficult people living in a difficult time. People die. People are jailed for no reason, except once. The ending is sad but hopeful. And the writing is simply beautiful, if you can handle frequent use of Igbo words and phrases (you can find a useful glossary for the book with a quick Web search, it helped me a lot).
I believe I shall read more by Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, though not immediately.