“The only reason you say that race was not an issue is because you wish it was not. We all wish it was not. But it’s a lie. I came from a country where race was not an issue; I did not think of myself as black and I only became black when I came to America.”
Therein lies the crux of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s luminous third novel, Americanah, an incisive, insightful dissection of race, and transnational identity: when Ifemelu, the novel’s protagonist, left Nigeria for America, she “became black.”
“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet…”
With these haunting words, Celeste Ng begins her spellbinding 2014 debut novel, Everything I Never Told You, a psychological yet gorgeously literary thriller centered on a Chinese-American family living in 1970s Ohio. While Lydia’s death ostensibly forms the crux of the novel, the fragmented pieces of life she leaves behind constitute the true story.
The book is a meditation on the interactions between family and society that culminates in