(Read by Zainab Jah; Random House Audio; 18 hours and 9 minutes)
First released in print a dozen years ago and rereleased on audio last autumn, this novel delivers a spellbinding account of the formation of Biafra, a small territory in southeastern Nigeria that proclaimed nationhood in the late 1960s. Told through five well-imagined characters, the story leaves the listener devastated by the effects of war while being drawn into the everyday dramas of both those escalating the war and those impacted by it. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie depicts the deprivation, annoyances, and disruptions of war on levels both personal and universal in a style that is never graphic. Zainab Jah is, simply put, an amazing narrator, easily slipping into various accents, dialects, and variations for gender that each sound realistic.