Resonance with Adichie’s “Americanah”
January 12, 2014 § Leave a comment
Reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah was incredibly thrilling for me. It was thrilling to experience the poetry of far-off Nigeria alongside the familiar longing and awe of an immigrant to the States. I am full of gratitude for this moment in time when I, an immigrant from the USSR, can read the story of Ifemelu, a young woman from Nigeria, and to feel so deeply her pain and her joy. Perhaps it’s a conscience but the last book I read was Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84, falling in love with the Japanese fairy tale and its quirky crew of characters. These two books are stand-outs!
What these stories share is a quality of universal humanity. They illustrate how we are all linked, we all long for happiness. Though our paths toward happiness vary wildly, the inner struggle is touchingly similar.
Life on Earth is difficult and often irreverently morbidly funny. But life is also a magic act, on the grandest stage of the Universe known as the present moment, Now. We depend on each other, for love, for sex, for pain, for shelter, for attention, for approval. Our individual strands of destiny are woven into a tapestry of brilliance and we recognize, almost despite our ego selves, that reality is more strange and more brilliant than any fiction.
Yet, the best works of literature, which I posit Americanah and 1Q84 are, serve to remind us of our power, and responsibility, in co-creating our world with kindness and compassion.