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

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Curt and Blaine are both past lovers of the main character Ifemelu. Curt becomes Ifemelu’s boyfriend for a couple years when Ifemelu is living in the United States. In her blogs, Ifemelu refers to Curt as the “Hot White Ex.” Curt and Ifemelu meet through Curt’s cousin Kimberly. Kimberly hires...

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Curt and Blaine are both past lovers of the main character Ifemelu.

Curt becomes Ifemelu’s boyfriend for a couple years when Ifemelu is living in the United States. In her blogs, Ifemelu refers to Curt as the “Hot White Ex.” Curt and Ifemelu meet through Curt’s cousin Kimberly. Kimberly hires Ifemelu to be a babysitter in her home. While Curt is compassionate and kind to Ifemelu, he is also a Caucasian male who comes from a wealthy family and he doesn’t completely understand the racism and culture shock that Ifemelu regularly endures.

Blaine is an African American professor at Yale University who later becomes Ifemelu’s boyfriend after she has been in the United States for several years. Ifemelu was immediately able to conclude that Blaine was African American, not African. Blaine is highly intelligent and intellectual, but he can also come across as snobbish and close-minded. For these reasons, Ifemelu becomes dissatisfied with the relationship.

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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.

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