Half of a Yellow Sun and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
Trade in your item
Get a £1.86
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Half of a Yellow Sun Hardcover – 21 Aug 2006


See all 18 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£216.12 £4.33

Special Offers and Product Promotions


  • Watch the author talk about this book in Windows Media Player format: dial-up | broadband.



Trade In this Item for up to £1.86
Trade in Half of a Yellow Sun for an Amazon Gift Card of up to £1.86, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate; First Edition edition (21 Aug 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007200277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007200276
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.7 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (385 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 304,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria in 1977. Her first novel 'Purple Hibiscus' was published in 2003 and was longlisted for the Booker Prize. Her second novel 'Half of a Yellow Sun' won the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her work has been selected by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and the BBC Short Story Awards, has appeared in various literary publications, including Zoetrope and The Iowa Review. She won a MacArthur 'genius' grant in 2009, and in 2010 appeared on the New Yorker's list of the best 20 writers under 40.

Product Description

Review

'Heartbreaking, funny, exquisitely written and, without doubt, a literary masterpiece and a classic.' Daily Mail

'Stunning. It has a ramshackle freedom and exuberant ambition.' Observer

'I look with awe and envy at this young woman from Africa who is recording the history of her country. She is fortunate – and we, her readers, are even luckier.' Edmund White

'Absolutely awesome. One of the best books I've ever read.' Judy Finnigan

'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

'Rarely have I felt so there, in the middle of all that suffering. I wasted the last fifty pages, reading them far too greedily and fast, because I couldn't bear to let go…It is a magnificent second novel – and can't fail to find the readership it deserves and demands.' Margaret Forster

'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”.' Guardian

About the Author

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria in 1977. Her first novel ‘Purple Hibiscus’ was published in 2003 and was longlisted for the Booker Prize. Her second novel ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ won the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her short story collection, ‘The Thing Around Your Neck’, was published to critical acclaim in 2009. Her work has been selected by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and the BBC Short Story Awards, has appeared in various literary publications, including Zoetrope and The Iowa Review. She won a MacArthur ‘genius’ grant in 2009, and in 2010 appeared on the New Yorker’s list of the best 20 writers under 40. Her third novel, ‘Americanah’, was published to widespread critical acclaim in 2013. She lives in Nigeria.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

164 of 171 people found the following review helpful By A. Stephens on 25 Sep 2006
Format: Hardcover
`Half of A Yellow Sun' confirms Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie as one of my favourite authors. Following up a very successful first novel is always difficult but this is exceptional writing.

While tackling a difficult subject, the lead up to and the course of Nigeria's Biafra War in the 1960's, it is told in a very readable and accessible way. The events unfold through the eyes of three central characters who are swept along in the chaos of civil war. There is Ugwu, the houseboy of a university lecturer; Olanna, the lecturer's partner; and Richard, an English journalist who lives with Olanna's twin sister. They are forced together and separated in unexpected ways throughout the war, each witnessing events that affect them deeply.

Interwoven in the main plot are other important themes, the necessity (for the innocent people displaced by war) and ineffectiveness (through corruption and misappropriation) of emergency relief aid; the use of child soldiers and horrors they are forced to endure; how the West perceives Africa (a good example being the situation when two American reporters are more interested in the death of one white journalist than one thousand local, black civilians); how religion, tribal loyalties and the political elite can tear a country apart; and how many of these factors can be traced back to the impact that colonialism had on the country. There are significant lessons that can be drawn from this novel, particularly with regards to how the world is dealing with the current crisis in Darfur, for example.

The structure of the novel worked well, creating intrigue and suspense throughout. It was gripping from start to finish but the tension that built in the final section meant it had to be read in one session - there was no way it could be put down.
Read more ›
4 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gitau Githinji on 8 April 2008
Format: Paperback
Half of a Yellow Sun is an excellent read. Easily my favourite novel this or last year.

Chimamanda has a gift for human observation. Her descriptive style is compelling and the characters sometimes cleverly invite you into their worlds. One often has to remind oneself that the author, being as young as she is, cannot have lived to see as much of life as her work represents.

I understood Odenigbo and Olanna perfectly but found Ugwu a little contrived. This is not to say he is not likeable: Ugwu is, without a doubt, the central character in this rich dramatis personae. He makes you laugh and cry far more than anybody else. Still, it is difficult to believe that an African houseboy - in a continent where labour is cheap and expendable - can occupy such a central part in the life of a family while growing up with little regard for his own future. Richard was the least believable of all. He was, for me, a cartoon character. A shallow Englishman suddenly finding himself a journalist deeply wrapped up in a war which has nothing to do with him takes a greater leap of the imagination than I was capable of making. I liked the detachment of Kainene and the supreme confidence of Madu.

The pages describing the war are clearly where the author had to do the most work. It is difficult to tell that she did not live through the war herself. A novel about a forgotten war written by an authentic Igbo is exactly what was needed - not another paternalistic travelogue/history book from yet another European "discovering" themselves and their writing skills in Africa's turbulent history. Brilliant.

You cannot read this book slowly - it is far too fast-paced for that. I will be looking out for more of Chimamanda's work; she has a superb future ahead of her.

A delightful surprise awaits you at the end. Lovely twist!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has written a deeply human novel about the 1967 Nigeria-Biafra war, a war that some have accused the world of turning away from, in a book that she says she always knew she would write. Within the novel a character is actually writing a book entitled `The World Was Silent When We Died'. Indeed, as a reasonably politically aware young student at the time, I remember, along with millions of others, turning my attention towards Vietnam and, by default, away from what seemed a complex internecine African struggle.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie does not lecture us, despite having lost both her grandfathers and other family members to the war. Instead, she creates a wonderful group of characters whom we come to care about greatly and whom we follow through personal stories that are in turn comical, tragic, idealistic, romantic and sexy, as well as reflecting the political forces and beliefs that culminated in the horrific slaughter and starvation of over a million people.

The narrative in this book is well served by a faultless prose style. Never tricksy or laboured, each chapter centres on one of the protagonists as their lives intertwine and separate and in this way we learn effortlessly a great deal about the cultural, geographical and political landscape of Adichie's country.

In the opening pages we are introduced to Ugwu, a village boy who lands the job of houseboy to Dr Odenigbo, an engagingly pompous radical academic. With Ugwu, we listen at the door to the after-dinner revolutionary talk of Odenigbo and his set of university colleagues as they debate, before the war and often in an increasingly inebriated state, various radical solutions to what they perceive as the plight of the Igbo people within Nigeria.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


Look for similar items by category


Feedback