Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Half of a Yellow Sun is set in Nigeria during the 1960s, at a time of the vicious Nigeria- Biafra war in which more than a million people died and thousands were massacred in cold blood.
Three characters are swept up in the rapidly unfolding political events. Ugwu, a boy from a poor village, is employed as a houseboy for a university lecturer.
Olanna, a young, middle-class woman, has come to live with the professor, abandoning her privileged life in Lagos for a dusty university town and the charismatic idealism of her new lover.
Richard is a tall, shy Englishman, in thrall to Olanna's twin sister Kainene, who refuses to belong to anyone.
They are propelled into events that will pull them apart and bring them together in the most unexpected ways. As Nigerian troops advance and they run for their lives, their ideals – and their loyalties to each other – are severely tested.
This novel is about Africa, about moral responsibility, the end of colonialism, ethnic allegiances, class and race, and about how love can complicate all these things.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria in 1977. She is from Abba in Anambra State, but grew up in the university town of Nsukka.
Her first novel Purple Hibiscus was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for debut fiction. She lives in Nigeria.