Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/24328
The novel Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, is the focus of this study. Published in 2013, it narrates the lives of two Nigerians, Ifemelu and Obinze, who live and work abroad, before returning to their home country. The object of this essay is to, first, examine the evolution of postcolonial literature and place Americanah in its contemporary context. Second, to discuss the issues inherent to postcolonial and multicultural societies presented in the novel. Third, to examine the ways in which the choice of a Nigerian female protagonist deepens the discussion about female empowerment and social equality. Finally, the essay aims to analyse the influence of literary representations of the East, as noted in the novel. The essay uses postcolonial theory based on the criticism of Edward Said, Chinua Achebe, Homi Bhabha and Frantz Fanon, among others, to analyses the shift of contemporary African literature from a theme of anti-imperialism to the exposition of contemporary, transnational and multicultural issues. These new narratives reflect contemporary Diasporas, the nuances of globalization and the attempt to suppress of multiculturalism. The subversion and questioning of Western stereotypes of Africa made in Americanah definitely appeals to the general audience. Adichie’s work, as part of African literature, offers Western readers a different perspective on African countries, in particular Nigeria, breaking stereotypes by calling attention to the dangers of a single story. In Americanah, Adichie uses the power of communication of the traditional literary form to criticise Western standards and stereotypes about Africa. Adichie explores the different cultures of United States, England and Nigeria from an African perspective, identifying the Western culture as the other. Americanah raises issues of race, gender and immigration as well as language and literature. Adichie’s work represents the postcolonial power in a new perspective, in which the individual suppresses stereotypes and gains a sovereign place in contemporary literature in the English language.