Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


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Americanah Chapters 48-50 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 48 Summary: 

Doris and Ifemelu attend a meeting at the Nigerpolitan. As she talks to fellow returnees about smoothies and natural hair, Ifemelu is struck by the “righteousness in her voice, in all their voices” (502). They commiserate over the loss of fast internet, good customer service, and NPR. The returnees discuss restaurants with Western-style options in Lagos, and Ifemelu feels caught between two worlds. She is happy to be back in the land of Nigerian cooking, “but she longed, also, for the things she had become used to in America” (503), like quinoa and feta cheese. The other returnees rag on Nigerian movies, but Ifemelu defends them. “The urge to be contrarian was strong” (504).

She leaves the meeting, missing Obinze and feeling out of place even among those most like herself. 

Chapter 49 Summary: 

Ifemelu goes on a boat trip with her friends, and finds herself thinking, “I’m really home. I’m home” (506). She has developed a routine, going to work, the gym, and meeting up with friends. Yet, she is still not content. Working at Zoe “stifled her” (506), and she is bored by the interviews she must conduct with wealthy, boring women. She dislikes attending society events to promote Zoe, and the inevitable speeches, “all of them seemed written by the same verbose, insincere person” (508). One of Ranyinudo’s boyfriends hits on her, as that is expected of a man of his station.

One morning at work, Doris criticizes one of Ifemelu’s features, claiming it sounds too snarky. Ifemelu dismisses her comments, but at the editorial meeting, Aunty Onenu has the same thoughts. She feels Ifemelu has made fun of and judged her interview subject, but Ifemelu insists that profiles are meant to be judgmental. On her break, she calls Ranyinudo, who complains about her various boyfriends. Later, Esther reveals that she is taking medicine for typhoid but after Ifemelu sees the unlabeled container, she becomes concerned that the medicine may not be real. She suggests writing to the health minister, but Doris reminds her they aren’t investigative journalists. Ifemelu suggests doing a piece for…

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