The Sisterhood of Americanah
“A man told me that for a woman, I was very opinionated. I said, ‘for a man you’re kind of ignorant’.” — Anne Hathaway
So, yesterday I (finally) started reading Ms Adichie’s Americanah (and yes, I am thoroughly enjoying it, but I will save that for a different blog article). I do most of my reading during my train commute to and from work, which is a 45 minute journey. Yesterday evening, standing on the platform waiting for the train to arrive, balancing my rather large hardcover copy of Americanah, a large umbrella (rainy day in DC) and two large bags (don’t ask), I looked up to see a nice looking lady with a glimmer of familiarity in the smile on her face. I struggled to try to remember where I knew her from and then followed her eyes to the book in my hand. When I realized that the familiarity came from Americanah, I also smiled and we both nodded at the same time. We talked for a while as we shared our knowledge of Ms Adichie’s other oeuvres. She, like me, has read everything else written by Nigeria’s most popular female author, except Americanah and she told me that she is getting ready to start reading it. We got on the train, chatting animatedly like long-lost buddies and as we found a seat, the conversation ended with a mild admonishment for me to continue to read the book and a small apology for interrupting. She got off the train before me and as I watched her disembark, pausing from my introduction to the affable Obinze, one of the principal characters in the book,I realized that we had shared a common bond in the very short time we had been together. Possibly, something to do with the label ‘feminism’ that Ms. Adichie eloquently refers to in her Tedx Euston talk.