In Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who are Curt and Blaine?

Expert Answers
jules-cordry eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Curt and Blaine are American men with whom the main character, Ifemelu, has significant relationships in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah. Curt is the well-to-do cousin of Ifemelu’s boss, Kimberly. In Part II of Americanah, Ifemelu and Curt start dating, and he helps her find a job. At the beginning of Part IV, Ifemelu has just broken up with him. Although Curt—who is white—loved Ifemelu, he never really understood her experiences as a Nigerian woman dealing with racism in the US, nor did he realize that he could sometimes be subtly racist himself. After their breakup, Ifemelu starts a blog called Raceteenth or Various Observations About American Blacks (Those Formerly Known as Negroes) by a Non-American Black. When she blogs about Curt, she refers to him as “The Hot White Ex.”

Blaine, who is African American, is a fellow blogger and teaches at Yale. He and Ifemelu met years ago on a train and reconnect at one of the lectures Ifemelu is invited to give after the unexpected success of Raceteenth. Ifemelu moves to New Haven to be with him. While Blaine is supportive of Ifemelu’s writing, he sometimes disagrees with her on political issues. After Ifemelu doesn’t come to a demonstration Blaine organizes, he refuses to speak to her, and Ifemelu goes to stay with her Aunty Uju until Blaine arrives to make amends. Reunited, the two of them look for an apartment in Princeton, where Ifemelu has received a fellowship at the university. She and Blaine grow closer when she decides to join him in supporting Barack Obama as a presidential candidate, but before long Ifemelu grows unhappy and decides to move back to Nigeria.

Read the study guide:

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question