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10. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Americanah
Some African novels make Americans feel better about race in this country. It’s a good thing that this isn’t one of them. Telling the keenly observed story of Ifemelu and Obinze, two Nigerians who fall in love, drift apart, and immigrate to the U.S. and the U.K., respectively, Adichie speaks to brutal truths about what it means to be a person of color far away from your homeland, and why people like Ifemelu, who identify as ”non-American blacks,” really can’t go home again. It’s a biting social satire and a fresh, thought-provoking take on the so-called ”postracial” generation. If it’s not the Great American Novel, it’s a great reason to reconsider what that phrase really means. —Melissa Maerz
December 20 2013 — 12:00 AM EST
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