Love’s Affliction by Fidelis O. Mkparu narrates on the experiences of Joseph Fafa. After he arrived in North Carolina in 1977 to attend college, he thought he had left violence behind in his native Nigeria, where the Biafran War claimed two members of his family. What he wasn’t expecting was to be attacked because his skin color was different than that of the young woman he was dating. In North Carolina, Joseph learns that being able to speak the “King’s English” doesn’t guarantee he’ll know when he is being insulted in the local vernacular—as when a young Southern black woman calls him an “Uncle Tom” for dating a white woman.
So long as the relationship between Joseph and the beautiful ballerina Wendy Crane is strictly platonic, her wealthy and powerful family is willing to be tolerant. But when it becomes clear that Wendy wishes to take her friendship with the ambitious and high-achieving young premed student to a more intimate level, her father’s instincts as a Southern man of property and importance kick into high gear. James Crane lets Joseph know that he doesn’t mind the Nigerian dating American women—just so long as the woman isn’t his daughter. And when Joseph follows the advice of his heart and continues dating Wendy, he learns, too late, just how tenuous institutional promises can be. When Joseph’s acceptance into the college of medicine and promise of a scholarship are rescinded, he has only to read the name of the institution that has closed its doors to him: the Crane-University Medical Center.
But even with Wendy, Joseph finds little peace. She is jealous of the attentions Joseph gave the beautiful Francesca after Wendy decamped the racial storms of North Carolina for France. And even though Francesca dumped him for a career as a swimsuit model, Wendy still distrusts the attention Joseph receives from Gina McRee, who may take her role as the foreign student’s mentor as being more than “sisterly.”
Love’s Affliction tells the story of the three years Joseph Fafa of Nigeria spends in premed studies at a North Carolina college and how his love for the beautiful and talented daughter of a prestigious Southern family nearly destroys his dreams of becoming a doctor. When, twenty-nine years later, Joseph and Wendy’s paths cross again, they are able to look through past pains and misconceptions and accept their youthful love for what it was, a flare of illumination sparked by the clash between two cultures, leaving each of them better, wiser people.
Summary and Review
Americanah is a novel by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, published in 2013. The critically acclaimed novel addresses the racial and cultural conflict between Africans and the rest of the world. Americanah is part of a ‘themed book series’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, in her exploration of African cultural identity in the face of modernity and westernization. In a single twist of her literary creativity, the author focuses on themes such as feminism, cultural identity, westernization and love.
Ifemelu and obienze are the main characters in the novel. The story line follows their quest for survival away from home, as they flee their war-torn home country. The Nigerian civil war resulted in the death of scores of citizens and resulted in the displacement of scores of families from their original homelands. among the displaced are Obienze and Ifemelu. Ifemelu is educated and confident young African lady. She heads to America, fleeing the intensity of the war in her home country Obienze is the son of a scholar, who heads to London after refusal for entry in the United States. The separation between Obienze and Ifemelu threatens to wear down their love for each other. However, they remain ‘silently in touch’ with their love.
While in the United Kingdom, Obienze results to an undocumented civilian life. His options are seemingly limited, as he seeks accommodation at any place, other than his war-tone country. He proceeds to manage his life without raising suspicion from the authorities. Meanwhile, Ifemelu learns the ways of the American lifestyle. The new lifestyle is different in every way. She struggles to come to terms with the different aspects of the American culture and continues longing for home.
Obienze and Ifemelu later on their return home, and continue to re-ignite their love for each other. Obienze has managed to accumulate wealth and Ifemelu has been shaped by her experiences abroad.
Chumamanda Ngozi Adichie clearly articulates the African experience away from the continent. Obienze meets his own set of challenges in the United Kingdom, while Ifemelu makes considerable effort in getting acquainted with the American culture. The two youngster thrive in the face of challenges, and manage to head back home with better experiences apart from war. Ideally, they become influential cultural figures in their country, as it regains its strength from the effects of the civil war.
The determination of the African is evident in the lives of Obienze and Ifemelu. Despite the numerous challenges they encounter, they strive for improvement of their personal lives. The longing and later return home validates their regard for cultural belonging and and authenticity. In a way, Chimamanda argues that, home is where the heart belongs. The experiences away from home are important for the cultural and intellectual development of the individual. However, the one’s separation from their cultural roots marks their point of detachment with their sense of humanity.
The main characters in the novel include: Obienze and Ifemelu.