Americanah Summary

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's award-winning novel Americanah is a powerful story about love, race, and immigration. Ifemelu, a young Nigerian woman living in Princeton, New Jersey, decides to move back to Nigeria after a breakup. She emails her first love, Obinze, while sitting in a hair salon.

  • Ifemelu and Obinze first meet in Lagos, Nigeria, while his mother is on sabbatical. They fall in love immediately and decide to attend Nsukka University, where his mother is a professor. Teacher strikes, however, lead Ifemelu to pursue her education overseas.

  • Ifemelu struggles to make her way in America. She works as a nanny through most of college. Her boyfriend, Curt, gets her a job at a public relations firm in Baltimore. She later breaks up with him and moves in with Blaine, an African American man who teaches at Yale.

  • For several years, Ifemelu writes a popular blog about her experiences as a non-American black. She shuts this blog down, however, when she decides to move back to Nigeria. Obinze, meanwhile, has become a successful businessman in Lagos and has a wife and child. Ifemelu and Obinze reconnect, and he eventually leaves his wife for her.


Ifemelu is a Nigerian woman living in Princeton, New Jersey. Her primary source of income for the past several years has been her blog about race and class, Raceteenth or Various Observations About American Blacks (Those Formerly Known as Negroes) by a Non-American Black, but by the time the novel opens she has decided to shut down her blog and move to Nigeria, where she has a job waiting for her at a women's magazine called Zoe. In fact, she has already made the necessary arrangements. She has broken up with her boyfriend, Blaine, sold her condo, and shipped her car to Nigeria—all of which surprises her friends and family. She has been living in America for ten years, and it seems to them like she's throwing her life away.

(The entire section is 2188 words.)