Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi, [date] Americanah: a novel / Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. —First edition. americanah by chimamanda ngozi adichie pdf download. Americanah Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie a lf r ed a. k nopf New York Toronto Adic__3p_all_r2. and incidents either are the product of the.
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Summary. A searing new novel, at once sweeping and intimate, by the award- winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun: a story of love and race. Why Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and why Americanah? 3. .. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is still promoting Americanah, and divides her time between the PDF file. pdf>. PDF | On Jan 9, , Ananda Amelia and others published 8ofn-PDF- Americanah-By-Chimamanda-Ngozi-Adichie.
It still startled her. The more she wrote. Her blog was doing well. She was not curvy or big-boned. Nigerian blogs. It had been there for a while. They were living her life. Nigeria became where she was supposed to be. She glanced at him. And she had ignored. She scoured Nigerian websites.
She was fat. He was now a husband and father. It brought with it amorphous longings. She looked at photographs of these men and women and felt the dull ache of loss. It was his houseplant. He looked defeated. He taught ideas of nuance and complexity in his classes and yet he was asking her for a single reason.
There they were. But she had not had a bold epiphany and there was no cause. So she told him that she was moving back home. But as the weeks passed. The rude stranger in the supermarket—who knew what problems he was wrestling with. On election night. She did not tell him this. She began to plan and to dream. They had lived together for three years.
And now here she was telling him it was over. Flag for inappropriate content. Related titles. Present Simple vs Present Continuous arende ingles facil y rapido. Jump to Page. Search inside document. Related Interests Books. More From Ana Laura Garcia.
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The Hate U Give. Angie Thomas. Less Winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Andrew Sean Greer. Behold the Dreamers Oprah's Book Club. Imbolo Mbue. Tayari Jones. The Color of Our Sky. Amita Trasi. Margaret Atwood.
Tara Westover. The Lightkeeper's Daughters. Jean E. David Chariandy. Paul Auster. Fates and Furies. Lauren Groff. Dear Mrs. AJ Pearce. Fredrik Backman. Women Talking. Miriam Toews. American War. Omar El Akkad. The Alice Network. Kate Quinn. The Boat People. Sharon Bala. A House Without Windows. They thought they owned this country, and the next thing they knew, they were in prison.
Look at that pauper who could not pay his rent before, then Babangida gave him an oil well, and now he has a private jet! Her animation was exaggerated, as though a bigger smile and a quicker laugh, each ego-burnish shinier than the last, would ensure that Chief would help them.
Obinze was amused by how obvious it seemed, how frank she was in her irtations. They fascinated him, the unsubtle cowering of the almost rich in the presence of the rich, and the rich in the presence of the very rich; to have money, it seemed, was to be consumed by money. Obinze felt repulsion and longing; he pitied them, but he also imagined being like them. One day, Chief drank more cognac than usual, and talked haphazardly about people stabbing you in the back and small boys growing tails and ungrateful fools suddenly thinking they were sharp.
You can depend on me. He had stepped out of himself. He was high on pepper soup. This was what it meant to hustle. He was in Lagos and he had to hustle. Chief looked at him, a long, shrewd look. People from good families, with good home training. You are a gentleman, I see it in your eyes. And your mother is a professor. It is not easy. Is that not so?
But it did not matter, because Chief sounded certain. On his next visit, Chief was his usual garrulous self. Is it because I am stupid? Do you know this? How do I know this? Because I have friends. By the time you know it, I would have taken a position and I would have bene ted from the arbitrage. That is our free market! The houses are all rotten and termites are eating the roofs. But they are selling them.
You know what they are listed for in the books?
One million. You know what the real worth is? Fifty million. Later, Nneoma sat on her bed, excited for him, giving him advice while smacking her head from time to time; her scalp was itchy beneath her weave and this was the closest she could come to scratching. The Zed, shine your eyes! They call it a big-big name, evaluation consulting, but it is not di cult. You undervalue the properties and make sure it looks as if you are following due process.
You acquire the property, sell o half to pay your download price, and you are in business! And after you register your own company, you must nd a white man. Find one of your white friends in England. Tell everybody he is your General Manager.
You will see how doors will open for you because you have an oyinbo General Manager. Even Chief has some white men that he brings in for show when he needs them. That is how Nigeria works. The ease of it had dazed him. It had startled him, too, how easy many other things became, how even just the semblance of wealth oiled his paths. He had only to drive to a gate in his BMW and the gatemen would salute and open it for him, without asking questions.
Even the American embassy was di erent. It brought to him a disorienting strangeness, because his mind had not changed at the same pace as his life, and he felt a hollow space between himself and the person he was supposed to be. He still did not understand why Chief had decided to help him, to use him while overlooking, even encouraging, the astonishing collateral bene ts. He sometimes wondered if Chief would one day ask something of him, the hungry and honest boy he had made big, and in his more melodramatic moments, he imagined Chief asking him to organize an assassination.
How can one person have this kind of perfect skin? Obinze had always been struck by how important it was to her to be a wholesomely agreeable person, to have no sharp angles sticking out.
On Sundays, she would invite his relatives for pounded yam and onugbu soup and then watch over to make sure everyone was suitably overfed. Uncle, you must eat o! There is more meat in the kitchen!
Let me bring you another Guinness! There was something immodest about her modesty: Now she was curtseying and greeting Mrs. Akin-Cole, a famously old woman from a famously old family, who had the supercilious expression, eyebrows always raised, of a person used to receiving homage; Obinze often imagined her belching champagne bubbles.
Has she started school? Akin-Cole asked. They are very good, very rigorous. She had been a pimp, as the story went, providing young girls for the army o cers who, in turn, gave her in ated supply contracts. Now, in her tight sequinned dress that outlined the swell of her lower belly, she had become a certain kind of middle-aged Lagos woman, dried up by disappointments, blighted by bitterness, the sprinkle of pimples on her forehead smothered in heavy foundation.
And in some ways, he was not. Of course he, too, wanted the best for his daughter. Sometimes, like now, he felt like an intruder in his new circle, of people who believed that the latest schools, the latest curriculums, would ensure the wholeness of their children.
He did not share their certainties. He spent too much time mourning what could have been and questioning what should be.
When he was younger, he had admired people with moneyed childhoods and foreign accents, but he had come to sense an unvoiced yearning in them, a sad search for something they could never nd. He did not want a well-educated child enmeshed in insecurities. Buchi would not go to the French school, of that he was sure. Akin-Cole said. She spoke with the unplaceable foreign accent, British and American and something else all at once, of the wealthy Nigerian who did not want the world to forget how worldly she was, how her British Airways executive card was choking with miles.
Only ve! Obinze remembered her name now. Watching her now as she talked to Mrs. Akin-Cole, the gold shadow on her eyelids shimmering, he felt guilty about his thoughts.
She was such a devoted woman, such a well-meaning, devoted woman. He reached out and held her hand. He should have kept quiet, left her conversation unru ed.
She often told him that her friends envied her, and said he behaved like a foreign husband, the way he made her breakfast on weekends and stayed home every night. And, in the pride in her eyes, he saw a shinier, better version of himself. He was about to say something to Mrs.
It would not surprise him. Give her to me and I will give you a nice plot of land in Ikeja. He did look well, spare and upright, unlike many of his peers who looked like pregnant men. He watched the other men at the party bow, too, clustering around Chief, jostling to outlaugh one another when Chief made a joke. The party was more crowded. Ferdinand had a steely, amoral face; if one examined his hands, the blood of his enemies might be found crusted under his ngernails.
He was worried that Ferdinand would come over to talk about the shady land deal he had mentioned the last time they ran into each other, and so he mumbled that he was going to the toilet and slipped away from the group.
At the bu et table, he saw a young man looking with sad disappointment at the cold cuts and pastas. His name was Yemi and he was a newspaper journalist. Yemi had studied English at university and Obinze asked him what books he liked, keen to talk about something interesting at last, but he soon realized that, for Yemi, a book did not qualify as literature unless it had polysyllabic words and incomprehensible passages.
It made him want to be a teacher. He imagined himself standing in front of a class full of Yemis, teaching. It would suit him, the teaching life, as it had suited his mother.
He often imagined other things he could have done, or that he could still do: He reached into his pocket to touch his BlackBerry.
Kosi was asking if he wanted more food. He wanted to go home. If she was considering coming back to Nigeria, then it meant she was no longer with the black American. But she might be bringing him with her; she was after all the kind of woman who would make a man easily uproot his life, the kind who, because she did not expect or ask for certainty, made a certain kind of sureness become possible.
Because a motorcycle or a car can kill us now, or I might see the real man of my dreams down the street and leave you or you might see the real woman of your dreams and leave me. Still, he sensed, from the e-mail, that she was single. He brought out his BlackBerry to calculate the American time when it had been sent.
Early afternoon. Her sentences had a hasty quality; he wondered what she had been doing then. And he wondered what else Ranyinudo had told her about him. In secondary school she had been the bubbly tomboy, very tall and skinny and straightforward, not armed with the mysteriousness of girls.
Longest time! Is this your daughter? Oh, bless! The other day I was with one my friends, Dele. You know Dele from Hale Bank? He said you own that building near the Ace o ce in Banana Island? And Dele said you are so humble. People often told him how humble he was, but they did not mean real humility, it was merely that he did not aunt his membership in the wealthy club, did not exercise the rights it brought—to be rude, to be inconsiderate, to be greeted rather than to greet—and because so many others like him exercised those rights, his choices were interpreted as humility.
He did not boast, either, or speak about the things he owned, which made people assume he owned much more than he did. Even his closest friend, Okwudiba, often told him how humble he was, and it irked him slightly, because he wished Okwudiba would see that to call him humble was to make rudeness normal.
Besides, humility had always seemed to him a specious thing, invented for the comfort of others; you were praised for humility by people because you did not make them feel any more lacking than they already did. It was honesty that he valued; he had always wished himself to be truly honest, and always feared that he was not.
You ate only that spring roll? I think I ate up to ten. They were so nice and peppery. She had been with them only a month. He was not there when Kosi looked through it—she did that routinely with all domestic help because she wanted to know what was being brought into her home—but he came out when he heard Kosi shouting, in that impatient, shrill manner she put on with domestic help to command authority, to ward o disrespect. Kosi stood beside it, holding up, at the tips of her fingers, a packet of condoms.
You came to my house to be a prostitute? She moved forward for a moment, as though to attack the girl in some way, and then stopped.
The girl shifted, looking a little surprised, and then she picked up her bag and turned to the door. She came here with condoms and she actually opened her mouth to say that rubbish. Can you believe it? Kosi stared at him. But the tentative fear in her eyes silenced him.
Her insecurity, so great and so ordinary, silenced him. She was worried about a housegirl whom it would never even occur to him to seduce. Lagos could do this to a woman married to a young and wealthy man; he knew how easy it was to slip into paranoia about housegirls, about secretaries, about Lagos Girls, those sophisticated monsters of glamour who swallowed husbands whole, slithering them down their jeweled throats.
Still, he wished Kosi feared less, conformed less. Some years ago, he had told her about an attractive banker who had come to his o ce to talk to him about opening an account, a young woman wearing a tted shirt with an extra button undone, trying to hide the desperation in her eyes.
Kosi expected him to cheat, and her concern was to minimize the possibilities he might have. She had, in the years since they got married, grown an intemperate dislike of single women and an intemperate love of God.
Before they got married, she went to service once a week at the Anglican church on the Marina, a Sunday tick-the-box routine that she did because she had been brought up that way, but after their wedding, she switched to the House of David because, as she told him, it was a Bible-believing church. Later, when he found out that the House of David had a special prayer service for Keeping Your Husband, he had felt unsettled.
He ate slowly. He put in a Fela CD and then started to write the e-mail on his computer; his BlackBerry keyboard would cramp his ngers and his mind.
He had introduced Ifemelu to Fela at university. She had, before then, thought of Fela as the mad weed-smoker who wore underwear at his concerts, but she had come to love the Afrobeat sound and they would lie on his mattress in Nsukka and listen to it and then she would leap up and make swift, vulgar movements with her hips when the run-run-run chorus came on.
He wondered if she remembered that. He wondered if she remembered how his cousin had sent mix tapes from abroad, and how he made copies for her at the famous electronics shop in the market where music blared all day long, ringing in your ears even after you had left. He had wanted her to have the music he had. She had never really been interested in Biggie and Warren G and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg but Fela was di erent. On Fela, they had agreed. He wrote and rewrote the e-mail, not mentioning his wife or using the rst person plural, trying for a balance between earnest and funny.
He did not want to alienate her. He wanted to make sure she would reply this time. He clicked Send and then minutes later checked to see if she had replied. He was tired. It was not a physical fatigue—he went to the gym regularly and felt better than he had in years—but a draining lassitude that numbed the margins of his mind. Frantic winged insects itted around the electric bulb.
He felt, looking out at the muggy darkness farther away, as if he could oat, and all he needed to do was to let himself go. She had some baby carrots in a Ziploc, too, although all she had snacked on so far was her melted chocolate.
Ifemelu showed her the bar, organic, one hundred percent whole grain with real fruit. Aisha waited until Mariama left before pulling out her cell phone from her pocket. Her face had brightened when she came back; there was a smiling, even-featured prettiness, drawn out by that phone call, that Ifemelu had not earlier seen. He will marry you if he wants to. But I am not Igbo!
She keeps asking us when we will get married. A man with dry, graying skin and a mop of white hair came in with a plastic tray of herbal potions for sale. The man retreated. Ifemelu felt sorry for him, hungry-looking in his worn dashiki, and wondered how much he could possibly make from his sales. She should have bought something. It was black-black, so thick it drank two containers of relaxer at the salon, so full it took hours under the hooded dryer, and, when nally released from pink plastic rollers, sprang free and full, owing down her back like a celebration.
Her father called it a crown of glory. One day, the year Ifemelu turned ten, her mother came home from work looking di erent. Her clothes were the same, a brown dress belted at the waist, but her face was ushed, her eyes unfocused.
Ifemelu stared, stunned. The hair lay on the oor like dead grass. Ifemelu obeyed, feeling herself in a trance, with things happening that she did not understand.
She watched her mother walk around their at, collecting all the Catholic objects, the cruci xes hung on walls, the rosaries nested in drawers, the missals propped on shelves. Her mother put them all in the polyethylene bag, which she carried to the backyard, her steps quick, her faraway look unwavering. She made a re near the rubbish dump, at the same spot where she burned her used sanitary pads, and rst she threw in her hair, wrapped in old newspaper, and then, one after the other, the objects of faith.
Dark gray smoke curled up into the air. When her mother came back inside, Ifemelu backed away, but her mother hugged her close. Old things have passed away and all things have become new.
Praise God. On Sunday we will start going to Revival Saints. It is a Bible-believing church and a living church, not like St. She spoke them too rigidly, with a demeanor that belonged to someone else. Even her voice, usually high-pitched and feminine, had deepened and curdled.
But, after that afternoon, her God changed. He became exacting. Relaxed hair o ended Him. Dancing o ended Him. She bartered with Him, o ering starvation in exchange for prosperity, for a job promotion, for good health.
She fasted herself bone-thin: For months, the air in their flat was like cracked glass. Everyone tiptoed around her mother, who had become a stranger, thin and knuckly and severe.
Ifemelu worried that she would, one day, simply snap into two and die. But the at was silent. Their relatives had kept away and lunch would be the usual rice and stew. Her mother told them of a vision she had just had, a blazing appearance near the gas cooker of an angel holding a book trimmed in red thread, telling her to leave Revival Saints because the pastor was a wizard who attended nightly demonic meetings under the sea. Shortly afterwards, on the same day as the failed coup, while the traders who lived downstairs were crying because the coup would have saved Nigeria and market women would have been given cabinet positions, her mother saw another vision.
This time, the angel appeared in her bedroom, above the wardrobe, and told her to leave Miracle Spring and join Guiding Assembly. Halfway through the rst service Ifemelu attended with her mother, in a marble- oored convention hall, surrounded by perfumed people and the ricochet of rich voices, Ifemelu looked at her mother and saw that she was crying and laughing at the same time.
If she worshipped with the prosperous, she said, then God would bless her as He had blessed them. Lord, I am waiting on you for my prosperity! Do not let the evil one win, do not let my enemies triumph over me! In church, at testimony time, her mother was rst to hurry to the altar.
Now it is gone. Praise God! I did not study because I was sick and yet I passed my exams with ying colors! I had malaria and prayed over it and was cured! My cough disappeared as Pastor started praying! It is our portion to prosper, amen? Her new church absorbed her but did not destroy her. Ifemelu was uninterested in church, indi erent about making any religious e ort, perhaps because her mother already made so much.
Until The General came into their lives. May his enemies never triumph over him! Aunty Uju is lucky o! Ifemelu did not miss the knowing smirk on her face. Chetachi and her mother must have already gossiped about the car; they were envious, chattering people who visited only to see what others had, to size up new furniture or new electronics.
She believed her own words. Or maybe there was something of a miracle in her new job as consultant at the military hospital in Victoria Island, and her new house in Dolphin Estate, the cluster of duplexes that wore a fresh foreignness, some painted pink, others the blue of a warm sky, hemmed by a park with grass lush as a new rug and benches where people could sit—a rarity even on The Island. Only weeks before, she had been a new graduate and all her classmates were talking about going abroad to take the American medical exams or the British exams, because the other choice was to tumble into a parched wasteland of joblessness.
But Aunty Uju did not want to leave; she had, for as long as Ifemelu could remember, dreamed of owning a private clinic, and she held that dream in a tight clasp. I want to take care of you. God is faithful! He was red for refusing to call his new boss Mummy. He came home earlier than usual, wracked with bitter disbelief, his termination letter in his hand, complaining about the absurdity of a grown man calling a grown woman Mummy because she had decided it was the best way to show her respect.
Her mother patted his back, told him God would provide another job and, until then, they would manage on her vice-principal salary. He went out job hunting every morning, teeth clenched and tie rmly knotted, and Ifemelu wondered if he just walked into random companies to try his luck, but soon he began to stay at home in a wrapper and singlet, lounging on the shabby sofa near the stereo.
Ifemelu felt sorry for him. She asked him about the book placed facedown on his lap, a familiar-looking book that she knew he had read before. She hoped he would give her one of his long talks about something like the history of China, and she would half listen as always, while cheering him up. But he was in no mood for talk. He shrugged as though to say she could look at the book if she wanted to. He talked often of how he could not go to university because he had to nd a job to support his siblings, and how people he was cleverer than in secondary school now had doctorates.
His was a formal, elevated English. Their house helps hardly understood him but were nevertheless very impressed. O di egwu! Even his handwriting was mannered, all curves and ourishes, with a uniform elegance that looked like something printed. He had scolded Ifemelu as a child for being recalcitrant, mutinous, intransigent, words that made her little actions seem epic and almost prideworthy. But his mannered English bothered her as she got older, because it was costume, his shield against insecurity.
He was haunted by what he did not have—a postgraduate degree, an upper- middle-class life—and so his a ected words became his armor. She preferred it when he spoke Igbo; it was the only time he seemed unconscious of his own anxieties.
Losing his job made him quieter, and a thin wall grew between him and the world. And, most of all, he began to join in the morning prayers. He had never joined before; her mother had once insisted that he do so, before leaving to visit their hometown.
Which had made her mother frown and Ifemelu laugh and laugh. At least he still did not go to church. Ifemelu used to come home from church with her mother and nd him sitting on the oor in the living room, sifting through his pile of LPs, and singing along to a song on the stereo.
He always looked fresh, rested, as though being alone with his music had replenished him. But he hardly played music after he lost his job.
They came home to nd him at the dining table, bent over loose sheets of paper, writing letters to newspapers and magazines. And Ifemelu knew that, if given another chance, he would call his boss Mummy. Ifemelu liked Sunday mornings, the slow shifting of time, when she, dressed for church, would sit in the living room with her father while her mother got ready.
Sometimes they talked, she and her father, and other times they were silent, a shared and satisfying silence, as they were that morning. From the kitchen, the hum of the refrigerator was the only sound to be heard, until the banging on the door.
A rude interruption. I am still waiting for my money! But now he was here in their at, and the scene jarred her, the landlord shouting at their door, and her father turning a steely, silent face to him.
They had never owed rent before. They had lived in this at all her life; it was cramped, the kitchen walls blackened by kerosene fumes, and she was embarrassed when her school friends came to visit, but they had never owed rent. There was nothing else to say. They owed rent. Her mother appeared, singing and heavily perfumed, her face dry and bright with powder that was one shade too light. Look at Uju, to a ord a house on The Island! Her mother glanced at her. Ngwa, go and iron it. At least there is light.
Or change into something else. There is no need to show the world that things are hard for us. Ours is not the worst case. The pastor, it was said, did whatever she asked him. It was not clear why; some said she had started the church with him, others that she knew a terrible secret from his past, still others that she simply had more spiritual power than he did but could not be pastor because she was a woman.
She could prevent pastoral approval of a marriage, if she wanted to. She knew everyone and everything and she seemed to be everywhere at the same time, with her weather-beaten air, as though life had tossed her around for a long time.
It was di cult to tell how old she was, whether fty or sixty, her body wiry, her face closed like a shell. She never laughed but often smiled the thin smile of the pious. The mothers were in reverent awe of her; they brought her small presents, they eagerly handed their daughters to her for Sunday Work. Sister Ibinabo, the savior of young females. She was asked to talk to troubled and troublesome girls. Some mothers asked if their daughters could live with her, in the at behind the church. But Ifemelu had always sensed, in Sister Ibinabo, a deep-sown, simmering hostility to young girls.
Sister Ibinabo did not like them, she merely watched them and warned them, as though offended by what in them was still fresh and in her was long dried up. Any girl that wears tight trousers wants to commit the sin of temptation. It is best to avoid it. In the church back room, the two tiny windows did not let in much light, and so the electric bulb was always turned on during the day.
Fund-raising envelopes were piled on the table, and next to them was a stack of colored tissue, like fragile cloth. The girls began to organize themselves. Soon, some of them were writing on the envelopes, and others were cutting and curling pieces of tissue, gluing them into ower shapes, and stringing them together to form u y garlands.
Next Sunday, at a special Thanksgiving service, the garlands would hang around the thick neck of Chief Omenka and the smaller necks of his family members. He had donated two new vans to the church. Ifemelu folded her arms, and as often happened when she was about to say something she knew was better unsaid, the words rushed up her throat.
A silence fell. The other girls looked on expectantly. But Ifemelu felt herself unable to stop, her heart thumping, hurtling on a fast-moving path. Why should we pretend that this hall was not built with dirty money? She had ruined the day. Now, her mother would be testy and prickly. She wished she had said nothing. She had, after all, joined in making garlands for other men in the past, men who had special seats in the front row, men who donated cars with the ease of people giving away chewing gum.
She had happily attended their receptions, she had eaten rice and meat and coleslaw, food tainted by fraud, and she had eaten knowing this and had not choked, and had not even considered choking. Yet, something had been di erent today. When Sister Ibinabo was talking to Christie, with that poisonous spite she claimed was religious guidance, Ifemelu had looked at her and suddenly seen something of her own mother.
Her mother was a kinder and simpler person, but like Sister Ibinabo, she was a person who denied that things were as they were. Suddenly, the last thing Ifemelu wanted was to be in that small room full of shadows. She wished, eetingly, that her mother was not her mother, and for this she felt not guilt and sadness but a single emotion, a blend of guilt and sadness.
The bus stop was eerily empty, and she imagined all the people who would have been crowded here, now in churches, singing and praying. She waited for the bus, wondering whether to go home or somewhere else to wait for a while. It was best to go home, and face whatever she had to face. She had done that since Ifemelu was a child. Now, she pulled it twice, once and then again to emphasize her words. You have to pray about this. Do not judge. Leave the judging to God!
You have singled yourself out at school where you are known for insubordination and I have told you that it has already sullied your singular academic record. There is no need to create a similar pattern in church. You are the only person she will listen to. Ask her what I did to her that makes her want to embarrass me in the church like this.
She insulted Sister Ibinabo! It is like insulting Pastor!
Why must this girl be a troublemaker? I have been saying it since, that it would be better if she was a boy, behaving like this. Growing up, Ifemelu did not feel like an only child because of the cousins, aunts, and uncles who lived with them. There were always suitcases and bags in the at; sometimes a relative or two would sleep on the oor of the living room for weeks. Her father felt an obligation to them, he insisted that everyone be home before eight p.
But Aunty Uju was di erent. Too clever to waste away in that backwater, he said. You have to learn that. Ifemelu laughed.