Under the Udala Trees

Under the Udala Trees

eBook - 2015
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"If you've ever wondered if love can conquer all, read [this] stunning coming-of-age debut." -- Marie Claire

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

Named a Best Book of the Year by
NPR * BuzzFeed * Bustle * Shelf Awareness * Publishers Lunch

"[This] love story has hypnotic power."-- The New Yorker

Ijeoma comes of age as her nation does. Born before independence, she is eleven when civil war breaks out in the young republic of Nigeria. Sent away to safety, she meets another displaced child and they, star-crossed, fall in love. They are from different ethnic communities. They are also both girls. But when their love is discovered, Ijeoma learns that she will have to hide this part of herself--and there is a cost to living inside a lie.

Inspired by Nigeria's folktales and its war, Chinelo Okparanta shows us, in "graceful and precise" prose ( New York Times Book Review ), how the struggles and divisions of a nation are inscribed on the souls of its citizens. "Powerful and heartbreaking, Under the Udala Trees is a deeply moving commentary on identity, prejudice, and forbidden love" ( BuzzFeed ).

"An important and timely read, imbued with both political ferocity and mythic beauty." -- Bustle

"A real talent. [ Under the Udala Trees is] the kind of book that should have come with a cold compress kit. It's sad and sensual and full of heat." -- John Freeman, Electric Literature

"Demands not just to be read, but felt." -- Edwidge Danticat
Publisher: Boston :, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,, 2015
ISBN: 9780544003361
Branch Call Number: Online eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file, rda
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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ArapahoeJennieB May 12, 2017

Ijeoma, is a young girl sent away for her own safety during the Biafran war in Nigeria . While there she meets another girl, and they fall in love. When they are discovered, she learns to hide that crucial part of herself, but at what cost?

This book will make you question the implications of homophobia on love and religion, as well as the importance of familial and self acceptance.

multcolib_susannel Oct 24, 2016

Ijeoma survives the Biafran-Nigerian War, but now she must survive the war inside herself.

Mar 03, 2016

This beautifully written account of a young lesbian growing up in Nigeria during 1970s and 80s is a fascinating counterpart to pre- and post-Stonewall narratives in the US at the same time, and tweaks some of the latter's usual cliches. At the same time Okparanta provides powerful insight into the Biafran War and, like her lead Ijeoma, boldly engages directly with the Bible and its use to denigrate same-sex relationships. The writing, organized in many short chapters that make the story pass quickly, is lovely, if not quite as polished as Okparanta's short story collection Happiness, Like Water. A wonderful read.

Jan 25, 2016

Interesting and beautifully written account of a young lesbian in Nigeria. Illustrates in a personal way some of the problems we only read short articles about in the west.

Oct 27, 2015

Although Ijeoma’s character is narrowly defined, Okparanta writes beautiful descriptive and emotional passages that make her seem fully realized and deeply sympathetic. However, Okparanta’s tale has been structured in such a way as to frequently disrupt and fragment the emotional effects of her well-crafted prose.

Read my full review here: http://shayshortt.com/2015/10/27/under-the-udala-trees/

LPL_KateG Oct 13, 2015

Beautiful narrative. This is the first Nigerian LGBTQ protagonist I've ever encountered, and I'm so glad that Okparanta has shared this voice with us.


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Oct 27, 2015

Violence: Hate crimes against sexual minorities


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Oct 27, 2015

“It was turning out that all that studying was not actually doing any good; if anything, it was making it a case between what I felt in my heart and what Mama and the grammar school teacher felt. The Bible was beginning to feel negligible, as it was seeming to me more and more impossible to know exactly what God could really have meant.”

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