IBNA- 'Purple Hibiscus' (2003), the debut novel of the acclaimed Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie which features a complex fatherly character has been rendered into Persian and published.
This book by Adichie who has been described very much the twenty-first-century daughter of Chinua Achebe has been translated into Persian by Elaheh Alizadeh. Afraz Publishing in Tehran has released 'Purple Hibiscus' in 271 pages.
Fifteen-year-old Kambili and her older brother Jaja lead a privileged life in Enugu, Nigeria. They live in a beautiful house, with a caring family, and attend an exclusive missionary school. They're completely shielded from the troubles of the world.
Yet, as Kambili reveals in her tender-voiced account, things are less perfect than they appear. Although her Papa is generous and well respected, he is fanatically religious and tyrannical at home—a home that is silent and suffocating.
As the country begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili and Jaja are sent to their aunt, a university professor outside the city, where they discover a life beyond the confines of their father’s authority. Books cram the shelves, curry and nutmeg permeate the air, and their cousins’ laughter rings throughout the house. When they return home, tensions within the family escalate, and Kambili must find the strength to keep her loved ones together.
Purple Hibiscus is an exquisite novel about the emotional turmoil of adolescence, the powerful bonds of family, and the bright promise of freedom.
The New York Times Book Review comments on this novel: “ “The author's straightforward prose captures the tragic riddle of a man who has made an unquestionably positive contribution to the lives of strangers while abandoning the needs of those who are closest to him.”
Themes of the story are:
Change: The novel is set in a turbulent time in Nigeria's political history, where there is a vacuum of power and a dictator whose rise to power is present in references to oil shortages.
Religion: Again a call back to colonial times, the theme of religion is present in the interactions between characters. Kambili's father rejects her Grandfather because of his animist beliefs. This is also present in Kambili's thoughts as she is always worried not to commit a sin and scared to anger her father.
Domestic violence: The novel uses a narrative point of view to explore the theme of domestic violence.
Family relationships: Family relationships are explored in this book such as the relationship between a parent and a child.
Silence and Speech: The themes of silence and speech appear in the novel. The titles of two of the novel's sections deal with this theme as well: "Speaking with our Spirits" and "A Different Silence".
Nature: The novel's title is a representation of freedom and hope. There are references to nature throughout the book.
Freedom and Tyranny: The theme of freedom vs tyranny appears in the novel, in the characters as well as the fight for freedom of expression.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grew up in Nigeria. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages and has appeared in various publications, including The New Yorker, Granta, The O. Henry Prize Stories, the Financial Times, and Zoetrope.
She is the author of the novels ‘Purple Hibiscus’, which won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award; ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’, which won the Orange Prize and was a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist and a New York Times Notable Book; and ‘Americanah’, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and was named one of The New York Times Top Ten Best Books of 2013. Ms. Adichie is also the author of the story collection ‘The Thing Around Your Neck’.