OverDrive Borrow eBooks, audiobooks, and videos from thousands of public libraries worldwide. New here? Learn how to read digital books for free. Media Americanah. Required Cookies These cookies allow you to explore OverDrive services and use our core features. I know what it is like to love while young. I want to advise you. I am aware that, in the end, you will do what you want. My advice is that you wait.
You can love without making love. It is a beautiful way of showing your feelings but it brings responsibility, great responsibility, and there is no rush. I will advise you to wait until you are at least in the university, wait until you own yourself a little more.
Women are more sensible than men, and you will have to be the sensible one. Convince him. Both of you should agree to wait so that there is no pressure. The silence rang in her head. I want to know that you are being responsible.
Yet she felt the absence of shame. Obinze seemed nervous, perched on the edge of the center table. If she wants to talk to anybody, it should be me.
That I am misleading her son. Later, when she told him what his mother had said, he shook his head. What kind of rubbish is that? Does she want to buy condoms for us? What is wrong with that woman? She avoided the sun and used creams in elegant bottles, so that her complexion, already naturally light, became lighter, brighter, and took on a sheen. Ifemelu wondered if Aunty Uju ever looked at herself with the eyes of the girl she used to be.
Perhaps not. Aunty Uju had steadied herself into her new life with a lightness of touch, more consumed by The General himself than by her new wealth. The bathroom fascinated her, with its hot water tap, its gushing shower, its pink tiles. Even the kitchen was air- conditioned.
She wanted to live there. It would impress her friends; she imagined them sitting in the small room just o the living room, which Aunty Uju called the TV room, watching programs on satellite.
And so she asked her parents if she could stay with Aunty Uju during the week. No need for her to study with kerosene lamps. Her mother paused, taken aback by his rmness.
For days, Ifemelu sulked. Her father often indulged her, giving in to what she wanted, but this time he ignored her pouts, her deliberate silences at the dinner table. He pretended not to notice when Aunty Uju brought them a new television. He barged past Ifemelu into the at, into the kitchen, and reached up to the electric meter, yanking o the fuse, cutting o what little electricity they had.
We have been paying one year. He disliked Akunne, his almost- cousin, the prosperous man from their hometown to whom everyone took their problems. He called Akunne a lurid illiterate, a money-miss-road. Ifemelu hastily looked away, hoping he had not seen her watching him, and asked him if he could explain a di cult question in her homework. To distract him, to make it seem that life could happen again. It was better than being indebted to Akunne.
Ifemelu told Aunty Uju how the landlord banged on their door, a loud, unnecessary banging for the bene t of the neighbors, while hurling insults at her father. Pay me my money. But Oga will give it to me. And do you know I have not been paid a salary since I started work? Every day, there is a new story from the accounts people.
The trouble started with my position that does not o cially exist, even though I see patients every day. Not that my pay will be enough for the rent, sha. He pays all the bills and he wants me to ask for everything I need. Some men are like that. Aunty Uju, in her big pink house with the wide satellite dish blooming from its roof, her generator brimming with diesel, her freezer stocked with meat, and she did not have money in her bank account. She looked suddenly small and bewildered among the detritus of her new life, the fawn-colored jewel case on the dressing table, the silk robe thrown across the bed, and Ifemelu felt frightened for her.
With Aunty Uju, they hovered and groveled, curtseying deeply as they greeted her, overpraising her handbag and shoes. Ifemelu watched, fascinated. It was here, at a Lagos salon, that the di erent ranks of imperial femaleness were best understood. Aunty Uju laughed and patted the silky hair extensions that fell to her shoulders: Chinese weave-on, the latest version, shiny and straight as straight could be; it never tangled. The biggest problem in this country is not corruption.
Oga said I was well brought up, that I was not like all the Lagos girls who sleep with him on the rst night and the next morning give him a list of what they want him to buy. I slept with him on the rst night but I did not ask for anything, which was stupid of me now that I think of it, but I did not sleep with him because I wanted something.
Ah, this thing called power. I was attracted to him even with his teeth like Dracula. I was attracted to his power. She had slipped naira notes to all the salon workers, to the security men outside, to the policemen at the road junction. These people that appear once there is an accident? It is so easy to get used to all this. I just need to go slowly. She did not look him in the face as she spoke and he did not look her in the face as he thanked her.
His solid, thickset body spoke of ghts that he had started and won, and the buckteeth that gaped through his lips made him seem vaguely dangerous. Ifemelu was surprised by the gleeful coarseness of him. He arrived in the evenings, in his green uniform, holding a gossip magazine or two, while his ADC, at an obsequious pace behind him, brought his briefcase and put it on the dining table.
Oga has the real gist. A whole General O cer Commanding and if he sees a needle, he is afraid! It was, to her, an endearing detail.
All this for me? One of his favorites, which he often told Ifemelu, while drinking Star beer after dinner, was the story of how Aunty Uju was di erent. He told it with a self-congratulatory tone, as if her di erence re ected his own good taste. Before I looked at it, I said I already know what she wants. Is it not perfume, shoes, bag, watch, and clothes? I know Lagos girls. But you know what was in it? One perfume and four books!
I was shocked. I spent one good hour in that bookshop in Piccadilly. I bought her twenty books! Which Lagos babe do you know that will be asking for books? Ifemelu would smile dutifully. She thought it undigni ed and irresponsible, this old married man telling her stories; it was like showing her his unclean underwear. She recognized the lightness of being, the joyfulness that Aunty Uju had on weekdays; it was how she felt when she was looking forward to seeing Obinze after school.
But it seemed wrong, a waste, that Aunty Uju should feel this for The General. They had been together for most of university and when you saw them, you saw why they were together.
And Aunty Uju laughed as though it was really a joke. There was tension; some army o cers had already been arrested. Aunty Uju was not with The General, did not know where he was, and she paced upstairs and then downstairs, worried, making phone calls that yielded nothing. Soon, she began to heave, struggling to breathe. Her panic had turned into an asthma attack. She was gasping, shaking, piercing her arm with a needle, trying to inject herself with medicine, drops of blood staining the bedcovers, until Ifemelu ran down the street to bang on the door of a neighbor whose sister was also a doctor.
She was in the kitchen the entire morning supervising Chikodili, singing loudly from time to time, being a little too familiar with Chikodili, a little too quick to laugh with her. Finally, the cooking done and the house smelling of spices and sauces, Aunty Uju went upstairs to shower.
Oga said it disturbs him! Ifemelu had nished and Aunty Uju was coating an exfoliating mask on her face when The General called to say he could no longer come. Aunty Uju, her face ghoulish, covered in chalk- white paste except for the circles of skin around her eyes, hung up and walked into the kitchen and began to put the food in plastic containers for the freezer.
Chikodili looked on in confusion. Aunty Uju worked feverishly, jerking the freezer compartment, slamming the cupboard, and as she pushed back the pot of jollof rice, the pot of egusi soup fell o the cooker. Aunty Uju stared at the yellowish-green sauce spreading across the kitchen oor as though she did not know how it had happened.
Come on, clean it up! Am I your agemate? Ifemelu had not expected Aunty Uju to hit her, yet when the slap landed on the side of her face, making a sound that seemed to her to come from far away, nger-shaped welts rising on her cheek, she was not surprised. They stared at each other. Aunty Uju opened her mouth as though to say something and then she closed it and turned and walked upstairs, both of them aware that something between them was now di erent.
Aunty Uju did not come downstairs until evening, when Adesuwa and Uche came to visit. But they amused her. They visited her insistently, comparing notes on shopping and travel, asking her to go to parties with them.
It was strange what she knew and did not know about them, she once told Ifemelu. Chikodili let them in. They wore embroidered caftans and spicy perfume, their Chinese weaves hanging down to their backs, their conversation lined with a hard-edged worldliness, their laughter short and scornful. I told him he must buy it in my name o. Ah, I knew he would not bring the money unless I said somebody was sick. Why now?
She was supposed to want to meet men, to keep her eyes open; she was supposed to see The General as an option that could be bettered. After they left, Aunty Uju came over to the dining table, where Ifemelu sat reading.
It was not as it should be. Ifemelu felt a small grati cation to hear, later, Aunty Uju shouting on the phone. You knew you were going to Abuja from the beginning so why let me waste my time preparing for you! I had an abortion and I am not doing it again. He cleared his throat. He soothed his wife. This is not what I hoped for you, Obianuju, but you are an adult. She spoke in a low, pacifying voice, stranger for being formal, but saved from falseness by the soberness of her face.
I am sorry to disappoint you, after everything you have done for me, and I beg you to forgive me. But I will make the best of this situation. The General is a responsible man. He will take care of his child. Aunty Uju put an arm around him, as though it were he who needed comforting. It marked the beginning of the end and made everything else seem rapid, the months rushing past, time hurtling forward.
There was Aunty Uju, dimpled with exuberance, her face aglow, her mind busy with plans as her belly curved outwards. He wanted England, so that he could travel with her; the Americans had barred entry to high-ranking members of the military government. But Aunty Uju chose America, because her baby could still have automatic citizenship there. The plans were made, a hospital picked, a furnished condo rented in Atlanta. You should ask Obinze, he will know. At least it is a place to live.
And Oga has people there who will help me. The General hardly spoke about his wife, but Aunty Uju knew enough: a lawyer who had given up working to raise their four children in Abuja, a woman who looked portly and pleasant in newspaper photographs.
While she was in America, The General had one of the bedrooms repainted a brilliant white. He bought a cot, its legs like delicate candles.
He bought stu ed toys, and too many teddy bears. Inyang propped them in the cot, lined some up on a shelf and, perhaps because she thought nobody would notice, she took one teddy bear to her room in the back.
Aunty Uju had a boy. She sounded high and elated over the phone. Can you imagine? What a waste! Her mother, when Aunty Uju came back, stayed in Dolphin Estate for a while, bathing and feeding the gurgling, smooth-skinned baby, but she faced The General with a cold o ciousness.
She answered him in monosyllables, as though he had betrayed her by breaking the rules of her pretense. A relationship with Aunty Uju was acceptable, but such agrant proof of the relationship was not. The house smelled of baby powder. Aunty Uju was happy. The General held Dike often, suggesting that perhaps he needed to be fed again or that a doctor needed to see the rash on his neck. They set up in the front garden, near the generator house, and stayed until the last guests left, all of them slow and sated, taking food wrapped in foil.
Dike, newly walking, tottered around in a suit and red bow tie, while Aunty Uju followed him, trying to get him to be still for a few moments with the photographer. Finally, tired, he began to cry, yanking at his bow tie, and The General picked him up and carried him around.
Ifemelu picked it up. Ifemelu held the phone too tightly, stunned. Ifemelu held her, cradled her, all of them unsure of what to do, and the silence in between her sobs seemed too silent.
Inyang brought Dike downstairs. There was banging on the gate. Pack your things and get out now! Give us the car keys! Search this site. However, the stream is very consistent as the creator takes us through various nations. It discusses the genuine circumstances of settler ways of life and the progressions that one experiences to attempt to fit in and the mental changes it can cause. Be that as it may, such a significant number of issues go implicit.
However, Adichie has not avoided bringing them up. An incredible read, genuinely quick-paced, interesting and elegantly composed. I would prescribe this book without a doubt. I can not get the book to download. Has there been a problem with this bookread mor.
At times, I felt that their was an immaturity in the writing but, some were burgeoning moments of greatness. Example of a great modern novel and showcases the early development of adichie.