Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s new book, Americanah, is filled with lyrical phrases such as “I feel like I got off the plane in Lagos and stopped being black.” And “Maybe we should laugh less and solve our problems more.” Adichie, who is sharing the stage with Colum McCann during this installment of the Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series, tackles race and identity in Americanah. She traces the story of Ifemelu and Obinze, two Nigerians who face isolation and hardship when they leave their home country. She goes to college in America, where she becomes a successful writer; he goes to England, where, as an undocumented worker, he’s forced to take degrading menial jobs. Through their eyes, readers get closer to understanding the immigrant experience. There are subtle (and not so subtle) ways immigrants judge each other, balancing “who you were back home” and “who you are here.” And there’s the way that some parents push their children to acclimate completely while others try to keep traditional customs alive. Torn between their idealized past and brutal present, Ifemelu and Obinze search for a way to hold onto their identities against staggering odds.
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7:30 p.m. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. For information, call 713-521-2026 or visit inprinthouston.org. $5.
Mon., Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m., 2013