Synopses & Reviews
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
“Demands not just to be read, but felt.” Edwidge Danticat
“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
About the Author
One of Granta's Six New Voices for 2012, Chinelo Okparanta grew up a Jehovah's Witness. She lived in Nigeria until the age of 10, when her family came to the United States. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she has also taught middle school, high school, and college.