12 quotes from 'Half of a Yellow Sun' we would always remember

Since 'Half of a Yellow Sun' topped the list of the last decade's winners of the Baileys Women's Fiction Prize, here are some quotes to remind us of why this book is a timeless classic.

Chimamanda Adichie

Since 'Half of a Yellow Sun' won the 'Best of the Best'Baileys Women's Fiction Prize, here are some quotes to remind us of why this book is a timeless classic.

On Love and Men

1. “You must never behave as if your life belongs to a man. Do you hear me?” Aunty Ifeka said. “Your life belongs to you and you alone.”

2. “Then she wished, more rationally, that she could love him without needing him. Need gave him power without his trying; need was the choicelessness she often felt around him.”

3. “Is love this misguided need to have you beside me most of the time? Is love this safety I feel in our silences? Is it this belonging, this completeness?”

4. “Each time he suggested they get married, she said no. They were too happy, precariously so, and she wanted to guard that bond; she feared that marriage would flatten it into a prosaic partnership.”

On being Nigerian/African

5. "My point is that the only authentic identity for the African is the tribe...I am Nigerian because a white man created Nigeria and gave me that identity. I am black because the white man constructed black to be as different as possible from his white. But I was Igbo before the white man came.”

6. “Greatness depends on where you are coming from.”

7. “How can we resist exploitation if we don’t have the tools to understand exploitation?”

8. “There are two answers to the things they will teach you about our land: the real answer and the answer you give in school to pass. You must read books and learn both answers.”

On Truth and Justice

9. “The truth has become an insult.”

On Happiness and Difficulties

10. "Unbroken happiness is a bore; it should have ups and downs.”

11. “You can’t write a script in your mind and then force yourself to follow it. You have to let yourself be,”

12. “Grandpapa used to say, about difficulties he had gone through, 'It did not kill me, it made me knowledgeable.”

Half of a Yellow Sun received the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction and  it was adapted into a movie produced by playwright Biyi Bandele.


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