Nigeria’s Chimamanda’s ‘Americanah’ one of five books for reading in New York
New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment said a committee made up of the heads of the New York Public Library, the deans of the major academic institutions, and leaders of the book publishing industry all helped to select the five books among hundreds
Chimamanda Ngozi-Adichie’s bestseller novel, Americanah, has been selected as one of the five award-winning books to be chosen for the “One Book One New York” programme.
The concept of “One Book One New York” is an initiative to bring together bookworms in the US largest city to read the same book at the same time.
New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment said a committee made up of the heads of the New York Public Library, the deans of the major academic institutions, and leaders of the book publishing industry all helped to select the five books among hundreds.
The Mayor’s office said the programme aims to get all of New York City on the same page literally. adding that the idea is essentially a giant book club, or a “one book read campaign”.
The office has planned at least six community-based reading events, some of which will be with the authors.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said: “New York City is proud to be the creative capital of the world.
“The ‘One Book, One New York’ initiative provides the perfect opportunity to bring city residents from all five boroughs together through reading.”
According to Julie Menin, the Commissioner, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, once the book is chosen, the city will host an author event at the New York Public Library, as well as a number of ancillary events at bookstores throughout the city.
Menin said: “We’re thrilled to celebrate our enduring literary capital with the ‘One Book, One New York’ program.
“All five of the nominated titles are fantastic, and we invite New Yorkers from all five boroughs for the chance to vote for your favorite NYC read.
“One Book, One New York” will help readers connect with one another while rediscovering their libraries and their independent neighbourhood bookstores.
“Something that makes it incredibly timely in this moment our country is in is that all five of these books deal with themes of immigration, of race, oftentimes of being an outsider.
“These books are incredibly timely. These are really thought-provoking books that really speak to the age that we’re in.”
The programme also features celebrity advocates who have all taped on-camera segments touting the importance of each book and urging New Yorkers to vote online.
The book to be read will be chosen by city residents, who have been voting for their favourites online at nyc.gov/onebook and at subway platform kiosks, which will end on February 28.
The final book selection will be announced in early March, with events taking place around the city to follow through early June when the culminating event will take place.
The culminating event, in June, will be something of a big book club meeting, with fans of the book coming to the New York Public Library to take part in a conversation between its author and the senior book editor at BuzzFeed.
The publishers of the five nominated books have provided at least 800 copies of those books to New York City’s more than 200 library branches.
According to chimamanda.com, Americanah is a powerful tender story of race and identity.
Chimamanda’s works’ have been translated into over 30 languages and have won several prizes, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the Orange Prize.
Others are the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and The Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize for Fiction as well as one of The New York Times Ten Best Books of the Year.
Those works include Purple Hibiscus nd Half of a Yellow Sun, which was also adapted into a movie.
A recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, her works have also made a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist, a New York Times Notable Book, and a People and Black Issues Book Review Best Book of the Year.