You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

New Yorkers Pick ‘Americanah’ as Their Top Read in Citywide Book Contest Co-Sponsored by BuzzFeed

The votes are in: New Yorkers have selected Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “Americanah” as the winner of the “One Book, One New York” campaign from the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment in partnership with BuzzFeed.

Nearly 50,000 votes were cast online and at subway kiosks (although that’s less than 1% of Gotham’s population of 8.6 million). Over the next several months, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment — which launched the program in February in support of the city’s book industry — will present a series of free, public events throughout the five boroughs for people to gather and discuss “Americanah.”

“Americanah” was picked out of a group of five nominated books, each of which has a connection to the New York metro area. The other four were “Between the World and Me,” by Ta-Nehisi Coates; “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” by Junot Díaz; “The Sellout,” by Paul Beatty; and “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” by Betty Smith.

Adichie, in a statement provided by the Mayor’s Office, said, “Whether you check it out from your local library, pick up a copy at your local bookstore, or even start your own book club to read along with friends, I hope you enjoy ‘Americanah’ – which I like to think of as a book about love, immigration, race, hair, and so much more.”

“Americanah,” winner of the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, tells the story of Ifemelu and Obinze, who are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion — for each other and for their homeland.

A film adaptation of “Americanah” is in the works, set to star Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo.

BuzzFeed helped promote “One Book, One New York” by producing video testimonials with celebrities about each of the books, including Bebe Neuwirth, whose selection was “Americanah.” BuzzFeed will continue its partnership with the Mayor’s Office by staging different events in the coming months, including a reader-focused event at Manhattan’s Housing Works Bookstore and a Facebook Live event hosted by BuzzFeed book editor Isaac Fitzgerald.

Adichie, in addition to being a best-selling novelist, is an outspoken feminist and has been a commentator on the recent U.S. elections as well as topics relating to activism and race. Her 2013 TEDx Talk, “We Should All Be Feminists,” has garnered over 3.7 million views on YouTube and portions of it were incorporated into Beyoncé’s single “Flawless.”

For the “One Book, One New York” program, Penguin Random House donated 1,000 copies of “Americanah” to New York City’s public library systems for the contest launch and is now donating 500 additional copies. In partnership with Scribd, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment is providing free 90-day access to the full audiobook of “Americanah” through June 2017 (more information at this link).

A full list of events for “One Book, One New York” is available on the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment website (at this link).


Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Barron HiltonBarron Hilton 1990

    Famed Hotelier Barron Hilton Dies at 91

    Barron Hilton, a famed hotelier who helped expand the Hilton Hotels empire and a founding owner of the Chargers NFL football team, has died, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced. He was 91. “Today the world of hospitality mourns for one of the greats. Barron Hilton was an incredible family man, business leader and philanthropist. [...]

  • Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel WME

    Endeavor Targets Sept. 27 for Stock Debut, IPO Video Tells Company's Origin Story

    After years of preparation, Endeavor is set to make its formal Wall Street debut on Sept. 27, when its stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange. Endeavor has targeted Sept. 26 for the final pricing of its shares. The stock will trade publicly the following day. Earlier this week, Endeavor said its [...]

  • Netflix - Apple TV

    Netflix Stock Drops After CEO Acknowledges 'Tough Competition' Coming From Disney, Apple

    Netflix shares fell as much as 7% Friday to a nine-month low, coming after CEO Reed Hastings commented that the November launches of Disney Plus and Apple TV Plus will introduce a “whole new world” of competition. Hastings, speaking at the Royal Television Society conference Friday in Cambridge, England, said, “While we’ve been competing with [...]

  • Charlie Rose Sexual Harassment

    Charlie Rose Sued for Sexual Harassment by Longtime Makeup Artist

    A makeup artist who worked for Charlie Rose for 22 years has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit, accusing the former CBS and PBS host of years of unlawful behavior toward female employees. Gina Riggi alleges that Rose was verbally abusive with her and would often make derogatory comments about her weight. She also alleges that [...]

  • Rob Stringer

    Sony Music Chief Rob Stringer on Sustaining Growth and Recovering From the 'Dark Times'

    The Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference, now in its 28th year, gives top executives at major companies the opportunity to make their case to investors — and the Goldman analysts the opportunity to keep things on the up and up. While the analysts don’t necessarily grill the executives, they don’t lob softball questions either. That was [...]

  • Frank Grillo'Avengers: Endgame' Film Premiere, Arrivals,

    Matt Phelps Tapped as President of Joe Carnahan, Frank Grillo's Warparty

    Frank Grillo and Joe Carnahan’s Warparty productikon banner has appointed Matt Phelps president of the company. Phelps will head the Los Angeles office and be responsible for overseeing all film and television projects. “We searched long and hard to find the right fit for Warparty and felt that Matt embodied everything that we were looking [...]

  • Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent,

    Jack Gilardi, Longtime ICM Partners Agent, Dies at 88

    Jack Gilardi, a longtime ICM Partners agent who represented such stars as Burt Reynolds, Sylvester Stallone, Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston and Shirley MacLaine, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 88. Gilardi was known for his gentlemanly style, love of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his skill at representing top actors. He [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content