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Purple Hibiscus: A Novel (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
4.2 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Purple Hibiscus, Nigerian-born writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's debut, begins like many novels set in regions considered exotic by the western reader: the politics, climate, social customs, and, above all, food of Nigeria (balls of fufu rolled between the fingers, okpa bought from roadside vendors) unfold like the purple hibiscus of the title, rare and fascinating. But within a few pages, these details, however vividly rendered, melt into the background of a larger, more compelling story of a joyless family. Fifteen-year-old Kambili is the dutiful and self-effacing daughter of a rich man, a religious fanatic and domestic tyrant whose public image is of a politically courageous newspaper publisher and philanthropist. No one in Papa's ancestral village, where he is titled "Omelora" (One Who Does For the Community), knows why Kambili¹s brother cannot move one of his fingers, nor why her mother keeps losing her pregnancies. When a widowed aunt takes an interest in Kambili, her family begins to unravel and re-form itself in unpredictable ways. --Regina Marler


Things started to fall apart at home when my brother, Jaja, did not go to communion and Papa flung his heavy missal across the room and broke the ?gurines on the étagère. We had just returned from church. Mama placed the fresh palm fronds, which were wet with holy water, on the dining table and then went upstairs to change. Later, she would knot the palm fronds into sagging cross shapes and hang them on the wall beside our gold-framed family photo. They would stay there until next Ash Wednesday, when we would take the fronds to church, to have them burned for ash. Papa, wearing a long, gray robe like the rest of the oblates, helped distribute ash every year. His line moved the slowest because he pressed hard on each forehead to make a perfect cross with his ash-covered thumb and slowly, meaningfully enunciated every word of "dust and unto dust you shall return."

Papa always sat in the front pew for Mass, at the end beside the middle aisle, with Mama, Jaja, and me sitting next to him. He was first to receive communion. Most people did not kneel to receive communion at the marble altar, with the blond life-size Virgin Mary mounted nearby, but Papa did. He would hold his eyes shut so hard that his face tightened into a grimace, and then he would stick his tongue out as far as it could go. Afterward, he sat back on his seat and watched the rest of the congregation troop to the altar, palms pressed together and extended, like a saucer held sideways, just as Father Benedict had taught them to do. Even though Father Benedict had been at St. Agnes for seven years, people still referred to him as "our new priest." Perhaps they would not have if he had not been white. He still looked new. The colors of his face, the colors of condensed milk and a cut-open soursop, had not tanned at all in the ?erce heat of seven Nigerian harmattans. And his British nose was still as pinched and as narrow as it always was, the same nose that had had me worried that he did not get enough air when he first came to Enugu. Father Benedict had changed things in the parish, such as insisting that the Credo and kyrie be recited only in Latin; Igbo was not acceptable. Also, hand clapping was to be kept at a minimum, lest the solemnity of Mass be compromised. But he allowed offertory songs in Igbo; he called them native songs, and when he said "native" his straight-line lips turned down at the corners to form an inverted U. During his sermons, Father Benedict usually referred to the pope, Papa, and Jesus--in that order. He used Papa to illustrate the gospels. "When we let our light shine before men, we are reflecting Christ's Triumphant Entry," he said that Palm Sunday. "Look at Brother Eugene. He could have chosen to be like other Big Men in this country, he could have decided to sit at home and do nothing after the coup, to make sure the government did not threaten his businesses. But no, he used the Standard to speak the truth even though it meant the paper lost advertising. Brother Eugene spoke out for freedom. How many of us have stood up for the truth? How many of us have re?ected the Triumphant Entry?"

The congregation said "Yes" or "God bless him" or "Amen," but not too loudly so they would not sound like the mushroom Pentecostal churches; then they listened intently, quietly. Even the babies stopped crying, as if they, too, were listening. On some Sundays, the congregation listened closely even when Father Benedict talked about things everybody already knew, about Papa making the biggest donations to Peter's pence and St. Vincent de Paul. Or about Papa paying for the cartons of communion wine, for the new ovens at the convent where the Reverend Sisters baked the host, for the new wing to St. Agnes Hospital where Father Benedict gave extreme unction. And I would sit with my knees pressed together, next to Jaja, trying hard to keep my face blank, to keep the pride from showing, because Papa said modesty was very important.

Papa himself would have a blank face when I looked at him, the kind of expression he had in the photo when they did the big story on him after Amnesty World gave him a human rights award. It was the only time he allowed himself to be featured in the paper. His editor, Ade Coker, had insisted on it, saying Papa deserved it, saying Papa was too modest. Mama told me and Jaja; Papa did not tell us such things. That blank look would remain on his face until Father Benedict ended the sermon, until it was time for communion. After Papa took communion, he sat back and watched the congregation walk to the altar and, after Mass, reported to Father Benedict, with concern, when a person missed communion on two successive Sundays. He always encouraged Father Benedict to call and win that person back into the fold; nothing but mortal sin would keep a person away from communion two Sundays in a row.

So when Papa did not see Jaja go to the altar that Palm Sunday when everything changed, he banged his leatherbound missal, with the red and green ribbons peeking out, down on the dining table when we got home. The table was glass, heavy glass. It shook, as did the palm fronds on it.

"Jaja, you did not go to communion," Papa said quietly, almost a question.

Jaja stared at the missal on the table as though he were addressing it. "The wafer gives me bad breath."

I stared at Jaja. Had something come loose in his head? Papa insisted we call it the host because "host" came close to capturing the essence, the sacredness, of Christ's body. "Wafer" was too secular, wafer was what one of Papa's factories made--chocolate wafer, banana wafer, what people bought their children to give them a treat better than biscuits.

"And the priest keeps touching my mouth and it nauseates me," Jaja said. He knew I was looking at him, that my shocked eyes begged him to seal his mouth, but he did not look at me.

"It is the body of our Lord." Papa's voice was low, very low. His face looked swollen already, with pus-tipped rashes spread across every inch, but it seemed to be swelling even more. "You cannot stop receiving the body of our Lord. It is death, you know that."

"Then I will die." Fear had darkened Jaja's eyes to the color of coal tar, but he looked Papa in the face now. "Then I will die, Papa."

Papa looked around the room quickly, as if searching for proof that something had fallen from the high ceiling, something he had never thought would fall. He picked up the missal and flung it across the room, toward Jaja. It missed Jaja completely, but it hit the glass étagerè, which Mama polished often. It cracked the top shelf, swept the beige, finger-size ceramic figurines of ballet dancers in various contorted postures to the hard floor and then landed after them. Or rather it landed on their many pieces. It lay there, a huge leatherbound missal that contained the readings for all three cycles of the church year.

Jaja did not move. Papa swayed from side to side. I stood at the door, watching them. The ceiling fan spun round and round, and the light bulbs attached to it clinked against one another. Then Mama came in, her rubber slippers making slap-slap sounds on the marble floor. She had changed from her sequined Sunday wrapper and the blouse with puffy sleeves. Now she had a plain tie-dye wrapper tied loosely around her waist and that white T-shirt she wore every other day. It was a souvenir from a spiritual retreat she and Papa had attended; the words GOD IS LOVE crawled over her sagging breasts. She stared at the figurine pieces on the floor and then knelt and started to pick them up with her bare hands.

The silence was broken only by the whir of the ceiling fan as it sliced through the still air. Although our spacious dining room gave way to an even wider living room, I felt suffocated. The off-white walls with the framed photos of Grandfather were narrowing, bearing down on me. Even the glass dining table was moving toward me.

"Nne, ngwa. Go and change," Mama said to me, startling me although her Igbo words were low and calming. In the same breath, without pausing, she said to Papa, "Your tea is getting cold," and to Jaja, "Come and help me, biko."

Papa sat down at the table and poured his tea from the china tea set with pink flowers on the edges. I waited for him to ask Jaja and me to take a sip, as he always did. A love sip, he called it, because you shared the little things you loved with the people you loved. Have a love sip, he would say, and Jaja would go first. Then I would hold the cup with both hands and raise it to my lips. One sip. The tea was always too hot, always burned my tongue, and if lunch was something peppery, my raw tongue suffered. But it didn't matter, because I knew that when the tea burned my tongue, it burned Papa's love into me. But Papa didn't say, "Have a love sip"; he didn't say anything as I watched him raise the cup to his lips.

Jaja knelt beside Mama, flattened the church bulletin he held into a dustpan, and placed a jagged ceramic piece on it. "Careful, Mama, or those pieces will cut your fingers," he said.

I pulled at one of the cornrows underneath my black church scarf to make sure I was not dreaming. Why were they acting so normal, Jaja and Mama, as if they did not know what had just happened? And why was Papa drinking his tea quietly, as if Jaja had not just talked back to him? Slowly, I turned and headed upstairs to change out of my red Sunday dress.

I sat at my bedroom window after I changed; the cashew tree was so close I could reach out and pluck a leaf if it were not for the silver-colored crisscross of mosquito netting. The bell-shaped yellow fruits hung lazily, drawing buzzing bees that bumped against my window's netting. I heard Papa walk upstairs to his room for his afternoon siesta. I closed my eyes, sat still, waiting to hear him call Jaja, to hear...

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 759 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 321 pages
  • Editeur : Algonquin Books; Édition : Reprint (17 avril 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B00B78AIV0
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.2 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°63.844 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
J'ai découvert cette auteure lors d'une conférence, j'ai voulu découvrir son oeuvre, j'en suis ravi.
Je recommande ce livre à toutes celles et tous ceux qui veulent comprendre le poids de la religion et des restes de la colonisation sur l'Afrique d'aujourd'hui.
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2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 impressions personnelles 20 juillet 2005
Format:Reliure inconnue
S'agit-il de la traduction de Purple Hibiscus?
J'ai enseigné dans une université nigériane (Yaba, Lagos) de 1978 à 1983, connu la période Obasanjo, puis la remise du pouvoir aux civils puis enfin le coup d'état,suite aux grèves et problèmes économiques du "règne" de Shagari. J'ai connu l'eviction de 7 deans de l'université de Lagos, et je me sens très concernée par le contenu civilisationnel, culturel et humain de ce roman. Par ailleurs, je pense qu'il est important que nos étudiants français acquièrent une culture de littérature anglophone féminine autre que celle proposée par des auteurs anglais ou américains. Property, Wide Sargasso sea, Brick lane ont été traduits: je suis enseignante et serais enthousiaste à l'idée de traduire ce roman qui me touche particulièrement.
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1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Un delice 12 février 2015
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Ce livre, c'est l'Afrique et toute la patience, la vérité, la finesse et la joie de vivre de ses enfants.
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0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 purple hibiscus 21 mai 2013
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
it is well written and the story is good

it reminds my husband 's chilhood in imo state in nigeria
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.5 étoiles sur 5  386 commentaires
121 internautes sur 125 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 (4.5) A family torn by conscience and duty 23 juin 2004
Par Luan Gaines - Publié sur
In Purple Hibiscus, we listen to the plaintive voice of Kambili, whose skill at language does not extend to the spoken word, as those necessary words remain trapped in her throat, a girl who knows her place and keeps her silence. In Kambili's family, there are too many things "we never talk about". Growing up in the political upheaval of Nigeria, Kambili and her older brother, Jaja, are poster children for domestic violence, quiet, well-mannered, high achievers that their father points to with pride, "his" children: extensions of himself in the world. A generous man, beloved in their village, only Eugene Achike's nuclear family suffers his rages behind closed doors.
Jaja's emotions are closer to the surface, more accessible to his spirit of rebellion. But Kambili is her mother's daughter, cautious, constrained and eager to please. Her slow awakening is all the more significant because of the tremendous act of will necessary to break free of her conditioning. This experience is agonizing for Kambili, like the prickling of a limb that has fallen asleep. Her adolescent physical and emotional flowering enhanced by newly found self-expression and self-awareness, Kambili is a product of a world that leaves children unprotected, at the mercy of a merciless man. She is the observer, the reporter, emotionless as she describes the constant abuse. Like a sieve, Kambili filters every action, sorting, learning.
Eugene passes on the lessons he has learned in his own childhood, taught by brutal Catholic missionaries who used temporal punishment; the abused is the abuser. Rigid religious instruction, intolerant and unforgiving, is the tool with which this man terrorizes his wife and children. His wife is trapped by her husband's frequent beatings, but the children glean a different way of life in the home of their Aunty Ifeoma. A widow with three children, Aunty Ifeoma exists in borderline poverty, but teaches her children without dehumanizing them. Exposure to this loving family opens Kambili's heart, planting the seed of hope and the promise of a future that offers more than pain and self-discipline.
This powerful, yet subtle novel is striking on two levels: one is the subjection of society to the tyranny of the chaos that results from a political coup; the second is the role of family in the formation of children's lives, contrasting a monstrous discipline with the guidance of loving relatives. The political unrest and subsequent difficulties of daily survival are the canvas against which the author defines her young characters, especially significant because of the helplessness of a population ruled by intimidation.
In this exotic African setting, the author shares cultural differences, rituals and beliefs. She does so with great skill, describing luxury and poverty alike, the discrepancies of an unequal society. Adichie knows the language of the abused child and speaks simply, directly to her audience. Her native land is Nigeria, but this dialect is universal. She understands that to be heard, one must speak softly. Adichie garners an audience of survivors who respond to personal empowerment, wrapped in hope. Luan Gaines/2004.
62 internautes sur 65 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An Extremely Engaging First Novel 10 septembre 2004
Par Eric Anderson - Publié sur
Purple Hibiscus is a vivid, beautifully written novel about a 14 year-old girl named Kambili growing up in a stifling Catholic household in Nigeria. The story pairs the collapse of the family's strong patriarch who frequently physically abuses his family alongside with the deterioration of the Nigerian society's infrastructure as it undergoes a military coup. Kambili is a very sheltered child who is incredibly insecure because of the repressive regimen her father forces her to follow. Yet, she is looked down upon by her peers and initially scorned by her outspoken cousin because she is viewed as a privileged snob. When she visits her aunt and cousins she learns how to assert herself and become a more independent individual.

Adichie presents you with a portrait of domestic violence very much from the inside. We see the father through Kambili's eyes as a pillar of the community and someone she genuinely loves. Therefore the abuse he administers is seen only as a gesture of love for her own good. It's only when Kambili is pulled out of this horrific environment that she is able to see how wrong it is and understand that this abuse is not normal. While this novel really involves you in the struggles of its characters, it also shows you a lot about the complex political and religious struggles occurring in Nigeria. It's one of those wonderful stories that can broaden your perspective while being incredibly emotionally engaging. This is an amazing first novel from such a young writer and I hope she will continue to write many more books with as much heart and soul as Purple Hibiscus.
31 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent first novel 8 octobre 2003
Par Anonymous - Publié sur
Those who know Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie from her short stories have high expectations of her. "Purple Hibiscus" lives up to expectations.
"Purple Hibiscus" is a coming-of-age story set in Nigeria during the Abacha military regime of the mid-1990s, told through the eyes of 15-year-old Kambili Achike. Kambili's father Eugene, a wealthy Igbo businessman and newspaper publisher, is in many ways a heroic figure; he is a pillar of the church, loyal and generous to his employees and home village and one of the few publishers with the courage to stand up to the military government. The same fanatic religious faith that feeds his stern public morality, however, leads him to ostracize his father and physically abuse his wife and children.
Kambili, who has lived under her father's hand throughout her life, is a shadow of a person as the novel begins. As the story progresses, she learns independence and self-reliance from her university-professor aunt Ifeoma, her teenage cousin Amaka and the iconoclastic priest Father Amadi. At the same time, the deterioration of the country and her father's increasingly abusive behavior drive the family closer to collapse.
"Purple Hibiscus" is a powerful and sophisticated first novel, and comparison between Adichie and Igbo literary giant Chinua Achebe is not out of place. Achebe's novels, though, tend toward the epic, using their characters to tell the story of their country. Adichie has also spoken in this voice, in short stories such as "Half of a Yellow Sun," but "Purple Hibiscus" is a more intimate portrait. Politics sometimes intrudes through scenes of student riots and the persecution of one of Eugene's editors, but most of the political events happen offstage and are seen through their effect on the family. For all the powerful sense of place in "Purple Hibiscus," Kambili's story is one that could happen anywhere.
17 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 a remarkable, lyrical book- a must-read 14 janvier 2004
Par Deepa Nirmal - Publié sur
A journalist from the Times in London remarks that this is the best debut novel he has read since Arundhati Roy's 'The God of Small Things'. Indeed, this is a remarkable first novel by a 26 year author. Writing from the heart and no doubt using her experiences growing up in Nigeria, Adichie has produced a book that makes you intimately share every experience of Kambili, the narrator. You are enraged at the abuse she suffers from her father, a zealot who loves his children in his own twisted way while disowning his father for not converting to Catholicism. You feel the pangs of a first, forbidden love with her. You share her very existence as a girl who is perceived to be so rich and fortunate- but who cannot even linger to talk to friends at school or watch television or listen to pop music.
This is a beautiful novel. The characters are complex and thought-provoking. I could not figure out the father character, how he seems to genuinely love his wife and kids and even suffer along as he inflicts terrible pain and torture on them. In contrast are his sister, Aunty Ifeoma, and her lively kids who may want for material things but whose spirits soar. In the background is the turmoil of Nigeria- the corruption, the politics, the shortage of fuel, the power cuts, the unrest.
When I reached the end of the book, I found myself hoping for a sequel. What happens next to Kambili, Jaja and Aunty Ifeoma's family? Someone said that you know a book is good when you reach the end and feel you have lost a friend. I felt a bit like that on the last page. Highly recommended.
21 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Electrifying read 27 janvier 2005
Par Siti - Publié sur
Purple Hibiscus is a beautiful story. The plot is based on a 14 year-old who grew up under the stifling patronage of a stern father. Her domineering father frequently physically abused his family alongside her, creating terror at home and stunting the psychological growth of his children. Against the backdrop of the deterioration of the socio-economic and political life of Nigeria as it undergoes a military coup, the life Kambili knows is shattered and she has to seek for refuge in the home of her aunt. Kambili the sheltered but highly restricted child, who never thought of herself as lucky and who had earlier been absconded by her peers and cousin because of her supposedly privileges, learns to assert herself and becomes a beloved character, a character who easily understood the plight of those around her.. Kambili at first came to terms with her father as someone who regarded himself as a pillar of the community and someone she genuinely loved. Even the emotional and physical pains he inflicted are seen only as a gesture of love for her own good, but later she comes to consider his actions as abnormal. With its vivid portrayal of Nigerian life, and brilliant dissection of the characters , this novel moves at a pace which is electrifying.
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