Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie


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Americanah Chapters 51-53 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 51 Summary: 

Ifemelu finally calls Obinze and tells him that she is back in Nigeria. They agree to meet at a local bookstore café, and hug when they see each other. “e pulled her ever so slightly close to him, and for a moment too long, as though to say he was not being chummy-chummy” (528). They sit in the café and talk, she telling him about Aunty Uju and Dike, he telling her about his family and his discomfort with his newfound wealth. They discuss Ifemelu’s race blog, too, and the ways she’s changed. Obinze tells her, “‘You’re more self-aware. Maybe more guarded” (534). She learns that he no longer adores America, and feels a “pang” when she realizes “he had visited America and she had not known” (536). He tells her about Emenike, who never visited when Obinze was deported, but has begun calling now that Obinze is rich. Then, Obinze leaves, needing to get back to work.

They have lunch that weekend and discuss her new returnee blog in more detail. He offers to invest money in the blog, but she turns him down. At Ifemelu’s house, they watch a peacock, then discuss books and the village boys Obinze is putting through school. They kiss gently, “then their tongues were touching and she felt boneless against him” (542). He pulls away and asks her why she cut off all contact in America. Hesitantly, she tells him the story of the tennis coach. He sympathizes with her and says he wishes she had told him. Ifemelu collapses in sobs, finally feeling “safe” (543). 

Chapter 52 Summary: 

While driving around with Ifemelu, Obinze suggests they play table tennis at a local club. Afterwards, they have lunch at the attached restaurant, where she checks her blog stats too often. They agree to meet the next day, though Obinze seems “hesitant to come too close or to hold her, as though afraid of being defeated by their attraction” (546). The next day at lunch, Ifemelu complains about the smoking in the restaurant and that the fries are made from…

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