Americanah Summary by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Read this article to know about the plot summary of the novel Americanah written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Also read: Summary of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Also read: Woman to Man Judith Wright Poem Summary

Summary of Americanah by Adichie

americanah summary by adichie

Source: Wikimedia

The novel Americanah written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie deals with the issues of gender and race. Ifelmelu, the protagonist, is returning back from America to her native country Nigeria after 15 years. For this reason she goes to a Nigerian Salon for having her hair braided. In salon, her story is narrated.

Ifelmelu grows up in a noble family of Nigeria. While going to school, she falls in love with Obinze, son of a professor. Although he had some relation with another girl namely Ginika (Ifelmelu was jealous of her), yet he starts loving Ifelmelu . Gradually, they start spending time with each other and also have sex.

Ifemelu, in the beginning finds sexual experience far from what is shown in movies but gradually starts enjoying it. The fear of pregnancy often haunts her. Their relation remain intact even during the college time. However, due to Military dictatorship and frequent college strikes, Ifelmelu finds threat to her educational career and decides to migrate to USA.

She had all the dreams of USA with her and luckily gets visa in no time. Obinze also desires to accompany her but due to the incident of 9/11 he is denied visa and thus remains in Nigeria.

Ifelmelu stays with Aunty Uju and her son. Earlier, Aunty Uju lived in Nigeria as a mistress of a rich married man namely The General who took care of all her expenses. Aunty Uju gave birth to Dike. However, The General died in plane crash. Aunty Uju, in order to escape the abuses of his relatives, ran away will all the possessions that he could take with herself.

While living with Aunty Uju, Ifelmelu feels the need of earning for livelihood. As she cannot work under student’s visa, Aunty Uju gives her a fake identity card (of a friend of her) for getting a job.

Ifelmelu tries her best to get a job but faces rejection every time. She meets Ginika in college who makes her well acquaint of racism in American culture and politics. Thus she relaxes her hair and tries to adopt American accent.

She runs out of money and ultimately accepts the job of a tennis coach (whom she rejected earlier) who sexually exploits her body and gives her $100. She feels morally degraded and being depressed, stops being in contact with Obinze.

Ginika helps her finding a job of babysitting for a wealthy white woman namely Kimberly. In due course both become good friends. She befriends Curt as well, the brother of Kimberly.

Both fall in love. Curt doesn’t like her doing babysitting job. He thus helps her getting a good job in communication and also American citizenship. 

Meanwhile Aunty Uju having graduated from Nsukka University, becomes  a doctor and marries a black man who remains cold to Dike and thus both are separated.

Having faced a lot of problems because of her gender and race, she starts a blog namely Raceteenth or Various Observations About American Blacks (Those Formerly Known as Negroes) by a Non-American Black. She blogs regularly and becomes popular. Her blog earns her a good amount of money as well and thus her financial problems also solve.

Also read: Problem Play Meaning and Features

Also read: Jane Eyre Summary Charlotte Bronte

Meanwhile, Obinze having denied visa to USA migrates to England and lives there illegally. One of his friends arranges a fake id card for his job. Like all other Nigerians, Obinze has to do petty and degrading jobs to earn livelihood.

However soon he becomes rich by working for a rich man. He decides to marry a girl (having green card) for getting citizenship of England. On the day of marriage, he is arrested and sent back to Nigeria. There he marries a beautiful girl and has a daughter as well. However, he still loves Ifelmelu and her memories often haunt him.

Ifemelu still in love with Obinze breaks up with Curt and starts flirting with Blaine, a Black American. This relation also ends up a day when Ifemelu does not do what Blaine asks for. They reunite on the day when Obama becomes president of USA but as she has decided, she leaves for Nigeria.

In Nigeria, she is called Americanah (term used for all those who adopt American culture and accent). She meets Obinze. Being in love, they start having romantic relations again. Ifemelu starts a new blog on the issues of Nigeria here. Obinze leaves his wife and daughter and comes to the door of Ifemelu. Novel ends.

Recommended Book

Americanah by adichie summary

Buy now (Rs. 292/-)

Also read: Robinson Crusoe Summary and Analysis

Also read: Summary of The Negro and Language (Black Skin, White Mask) by Franz Fanon


Student of English Literature, Blogger by profession, Explorer by passion, Creative by mind...

You may also like...