Chinelo Okparanta Under the Udala Trees

ISBN 13: 9781504666336

Under the Udala Trees

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9781504666336: Under the Udala Trees

Inspired by Nigeria's folktales and war, Under the Udala Trees is a deeply searching, powerful debut about the dangers of living and loving openly.

Ijeoma comes of age as her nation does; born before independence, she is eleven when civil war breaks out in the young republic of Nigeria. Sent away to safety, she meets another displaced child, and the star-crossed pair fall in love. They are from different ethnic communities. They are also both girls.

When their love is discovered, Ijeoma learns that she will have to hide this part of herself. But there is a cost to living inside a lie.

As Edwidge Danticat has made personal the legacy of Haiti's political coming-of-age, Okparanta's Under the Udala Trees uses one woman's lifetime to examine the ways in which Nigerians continue to struggle toward selfhood. Even as their nation contends with and recovers from the effects of war and division, Nigerian lives are wrecked and lost from taboo and prejudice. But this story offers a glimmer of hope -- a future where a woman might just be able to shape her life around truth and love.

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From the Back Cover:

A New York Times Book Review Editors Choice

Named a Best Book of the Year by
NPR * BuzzFeed * Bustle * Shelf Awareness * Publishers Lunch

[This] love story has hypnotic power. The New Yorker


Ijeoma comes of age as her nation does. Born before independence, she is eleven when civil war breaks out in the young republic of Nigeria. Sent away to safety, she meets another displaced child and they, star-crossed, fall in love. They are from different ethnic communities. They are also both girls.But when their love is discovered, Ijeoma learns that she will have to hide this part of herself and there is a cost to living inside a lie.

Inspired by Nigeria s folktales and its war, Chinelo Okparanta shows us, in graceful and precise prose (New York Times Book Review), how the struggles and divisions of a nation are inscribed on the souls of its citizens. Powerful and heartbreaking, Under the Udala Trees is a deeply moving commentary on identity, prejudice, and forbidden love (BuzzFeed).

An important and timely read, imbued with both political ferocity and mythic beauty. Bustle

A real talent. [Under the Udala Trees is] the kind of book that should have come with a cold compress kit. It s sad and sensual and full of heat. John Freeman, Electric Literature

Demands not just to be read, but felt. Edwidge Danticat


Born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Chinelo Okparanta is the author ofHappiness, Like Water. Her honors include an O. Henry Prize, twoLambda Literary Awards, and finalist selections for the Young Lions, the Caine Prize, and the Rolex Mentors andProteges Arts Initiative. She lives in New York."

From the Inside Flap:

A unique and devastatingly hopeful story about the paradox of love: even in the midst of war, and ina world dominated by violence and prejudice, still, love transcends." Mia Couto

Ijeoma comes of age as her nation does; born before independence, she is eleven when civil war breaks out in the young republic of Nigeria. Sent away to safety, she meets another displaced child and they, star-crossed, fall in love. They are from different ethnic communities. They are also both girls.

When their love is discovered, Ijeoma learns that she will have to hide this part of herself. But there is a cost to living inside a lie.

Inspired by Nigeria s folktales and its war, Under the Udala Trees shows through one woman s lifetime how the struggles and divisions of a nation are inscribed into the souls of its citizens. In prose that is elegant and spare, with insights heartbreaking and electrifying, it offers a story shot through with hope that points to a future when a woman might just be able to become fully herself, shaping her life around truth and love.
"

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Chinelo Okparanta
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Okparanta, Chinelo
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