And the winner is ... “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. After a month of online voting, the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment has announced that New Yorkers picked the 2013 novel to read in what the agency hopes will be a citywide book club. “One of my characters talks about how Americans are always excited,” Adichie says in a video released on BuzzFeed. “Today, like Americans, I am so excited that you chose my book.” The four other nominated books 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.
“Americanah” is a story of race, identity and relationships from Nigeria to the United States. The book won the National Book Critics Circle award for fiction, and it was recently announced that a film adaptation will be made starring Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo. Copies will be available throughout the public library system, and digital library service Scribd is offering the audiobook version for free to new members. Readers are encouraged to start book clubs and participate in the conversation using the hashtag #OneBookNY.