Half of a Yellow Sun
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (read by Zainab Jah)
It is 11 years since Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie published Half of a Yellow Sun . A multi-faceted account of 1960s Nigeria, it effortlessly lived up to the anticipation created by her debut, Purple Hibiscus (2003). The hardback was supplemented with an audiobook read by Adjoa Adoh, who offered a masterclass in tact and range. Such has been the novel’s success that one audiobook is apparently not enough.
Whether this is overdue or overkill depends on your opinion of the original. Zainab Jah’s voice is lighter than Adoh’s, and her pace a little gentler. She is every bit as good when shifting between characters, and mixing English with Igbo. Where she doesn’t match Adoh’s original is in rendering Adichie’s narrative voice. While she is smooth enough, she doesn’t quite have Adoh’s cool assurance.