Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


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Americanah Chapters 45-47 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 45 Summary: 

Ifemelu finds a job posting for a features editor at a women’s magazine, Zoe, and goes on an interview. She meets with Aunty Onenu, the editor-in-chief, a “well-preserved” (483) older woman whose husband indulgently bankrolls the magazine. Ifemelu treats the meeting like an American interview, full of ideas for how to change the magazine and increase readership. Ranyinudo is amused by this: “‘If you had not come from America, she would have fired you immediately’” (484).

Ifemelu gets the job, and keeps thinking she sees Obinze around town. She moves into a new house in a wealthy neighborhood, one she liked as a child. She hires workers to replace the tiles, but becomes enraged by their shoddy workmanship. She berates and threatens them, surprising herself. “Where had that come from, the false bravado, the easy resort to threats?” (487).

Obinze continues to send her emails, and she continues to reply, though she does not tell him she has moved back to Nigeria. 

Chapter 46 Summary: 

Ifemelu spends the weekends with her parents, both of whom think she is still with Blaine, and that he will be visiting soon. She doesn’t correct them. She visits her old friends, but is not wholly comfortable with them, struggling to find “some remnants from her past that were no longer there” (490). Her friends discuss engagements and weddings and make plans for their own, insisting that some Nigerian governors attend—not because they know the bride and groom, but because “‘it shows levels, serious levels’” (492). Ifemelu lies casually about her own wedding plans, sometimes even believing them, picturing herself and Blaine on a Caribbean beach.

Chapter 47 Summary:  

Ifemelu begins work at Zoe, the women’s magazine. She chats with Esther, the receptionist. Esther wants Ifemelu to come to her church. Ifemelu has eased into Nigerian life, but does not connect with her coworkers. Doris, the editor, is another American returnee with an unfortunate tendency to upspeak. Ifemelu then meets Zemaye, the assistant editor, who is “expressionless” (498). Doris invites Ifemelu to the Nigerpolitan Club, a gathering place for returnees from America…

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