10 Books Like… Americanah

So you read this classic by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and, now you’re on the hunt for books like Americanah? Welcome!

Recommending readalikes can be a tricky process, but as I said in the first post in this series, I enjoy the process of finding similar threads running through even books that appear different on the surface. Today’s pick is a classic by Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie that is both a meditation on race and immigration, as well as a love story. If you haven’t read it yet, you should, as you should all of Adichie’s other books!

americanah

Here’s my readalike criterion: Each book I recommend must have at least three strong similarities with the beloved title. For each recommended book, I’ll also highlight major differences to keep in mind, just in case they might put you off.

Because Americanah is such a big deal (and I don’t read as much adult fiction), I asked some friends to help me choose readalikes! Today, Leggy and Taynement from the book blog TwoNightStands, Dami from What Dami Did, and Cindy from Book of Cinz will also be sharing their recommendations. All of these ladies are Americanah fans, Adichie fans, and bloggers with impeccable taste in books.

Without further ado, if you loved this book, here are 10 more books like Americanah.

Books Like Americanah

Afoma’s Picks

His Only Wife

his only wife - books like americanah

Similarities

  • Written by a female African author
  • Features love triangle similar to the one in Americanah
  • Also set in Africa
  • Strongly feminist
  • Tackles societal ills in the same tongue-in-cheek tone as Americanah

Differences

  • Ghanaian author and setting, not Nigerian
  • No element of race discourse or racial activism

In Dependence

in dependence - books like americanah

Similarities

  • A love story spanning decades
  • Set partly in Nigeria and in the UK
  • Explores Nigerian culture and societal issues
  • Elements of racial discourse as the protagonists are in an interracial relationship

Differences

  • Historical fiction

What We Were Promised

what we were promised - books like americanah

Similarities

  • Asian family adjusting to life back in their home country of Shanghai after life as an immigrant in America
  • Experiences of racism in America
  • Strong female protagonist
  • A love triangle

Differences

  • Written by an Asian author and set in Shanghai with Asian traditions

Leggy and Taynment’s Picks

Behold the Dreamers

behold the dreamers - books like americanah

Similarities

  • Immigrant story of a couple relocating from an African country to the United States
  • Rediscovering identity as a foreigner/Black person
  • Struggling in situations that require grappling with moral conscience while in survivor mode and both characters could be morally seen as questionable
  • Ended up with the same decision/solution with dealing with identity crisis
  • For African readers, recognizable sayings, slangs and mentions of familiar cultures
  • Not the most satisfying ending (haha)

Differences

  • Ifemelu is a single Nigerian woman while Jende is a married Cameroonian man with a child.
  • POV is from two characters – Jende and his wife, Neni vs.  just one like Ifemelu
  • Ifemelu is educated and starts her journey in the states. Adichie uses the parts about her blog to highlight topics on racism on a broader level. This book talks about race from an individual level. No form of activism.

Transcendent Kingdom

transcendent kingdom - books like americanah

Similarities

• First generation immigrant story
• Story told from a uniquely African point of view
• Also dealing with identity crisis caused by straddling two generations of views and experiences (African and American, scientist and Christian)
• Trying to assimilate into a new culture and country

Differences

  • Addiction, depression and suicide are big parts of this book, so trigger warning to everyone who might need it
two night stands blog
About the Curators:

@taynement and @leggylegs love reading and love to talk about books. Visit their blog for more recommendations and reviews.


Dami’s Picks: Books for readers who enjoyed Americanah

Free Food for Millionaires

free food for millionaires - books like americanah
  • Story spanning years
  • Wide cast of characters
  • A complex protagonist that struggles with mental health and is trying to find herself
  • Love triangles

The Farm

the farm - books like americanah
  • Written by an American immigrant
  • Central theme of race and immigration
  • Complex female protagonist

The Vanishing Half

the vanishing half - books like americanah
  • Story about leaving and cutting ties with home
  • Story about racism and displacement
  • A love story that started when the characters were teenagers and continued when they were adults

About Dami

Dami is a Nigerian lifestyle blogger and illustrator.


Cindy’s Picks

A Girl Is a Body of Water

a girl is a body of water - books like americanah

Similarities

  • Strong female protagonist
  • Feminist story
  • Protagonist struggles with identity and belonging
  • Tackles issues like colorism and patriarchy in African society
  • Set in Africa (Uganda)

Differences

  • Historical fiction
  • Protagonist is trying to break familial generational curses

The Deep Blue Between

the deep blue between - books like americanah

Similarities

  • Migration to another land and learning a new culture and way of life
  • Themes of grief
  • African identity, history and culture

Differences

  • Told from two POVs; twin protagonists
  • Historical fiction
bookofcinz
About Cindy:

Cindy is a Book Blogger, Book Reviewer, Book Club Host, Content Creator and an active member of the Bookstagram community with the handle called @bookofcinz. The goal of my BookOfCinz is to encourage people to read, read more, read widely, and read more Caribbean Authors and literature.


And that’s a wrap: 10 books like Americanah! I really loved seeing what these ladies recommended, and I’m definitely putting several recommendations on my TBR. Please follow all four ladies on their social media accounts for more recommendations and enjoyable lifestyle content.

Which of these selections have you read and enjoyed? Would you recommend any of these to readers who enjoyed Americanah? I’d love to hear your own readalikes for Americanah!

Pin This Post – Books Like Americanah

books like americanah

2 thoughts on “10 Books Like… Americanah

  1. Thanks for these suggestions. I’ve read Behold the Dreamers, and I will be reading The Vanishing Half in the next few weeks for a book group. Several others appeal to me. They all sound good to me!

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