New York Selects AMERICANAH for the Inaugural One Book, One New York Program

By Tim Cheng | March 22 2017 | Community Reads

On Thursday, March 16th, the New York City Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) and BuzzFeed announced Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah as the winner of the inaugural “One Book, One New York” program. Throughout February, nearly 50,000 votes were cast for this first-of-its-kind competition. And, in the coming months New Yorkers will be encouraged to read the book, and invited to participate in a series of free, open-to-the public events throughout the five boroughs.

To ensure that as many New Yorkers as possible have free access to the winning book, Penguin Random House has donated 1,500 copies of Americanah to New York City’s three public library systems, and has created reading guides for public download. Additionally, MOMA has forged a partnership with the digital reading subscription service, Scribd, which will allow free access to the full audiobook through June 2017.

To encourage participation in the community read, The Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and many of New York City’s 200 neighborhood library branches will host free or low-cost creative programming around Americanah and its poignant and timely themes of immigration, feminism, and race, including:


  • Author Panel Discussing Immigrant Stories – featuring novelist Min Jin Lee and author Simon Winchester
  • A Special Screening of Raquel Cepeda’s film Some Girls – hosted by the African Film Festival and Lehman College
  • Artistic Workshops – teaching artist from the Center for the Professional Education of Teachers (CPET) at Teacher’s College, Columbia University will work collaboratively with participants to encourage artistic forms of self-expression around themes raised in the book
  • Housing Work’s Bookstore and Facebook Live Event – a reader-focused event hosted by BuzzFeed Book Editor Isaac Fitzgerald
  • Culminating Event at the New York Public Library’s Celeste Bartos Forum
  • Click to See a Full Listing of Events


There was an overwhelming response from the press after the announcement, with coverage in Time, The Paris Review, Variety, NY1, Vulture, The New York Daily News, and Publishers Weekly, among others. Additionally, MOME and BuzzFeed plan to continue their robust social media outreach and online engagement to keep the conversation going using the #OneBookNY hashtag.

“I’m so happy that my novel Americanah is the winner of the ‘One Book, One New York’ program,” said author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. “Whether you check it out from your local library, pick up a copy at your local bookstore, or even start your own book club to read along with friends, I hope you enjoy Americanahwhich I like to think of as a book about love, immigration, race, hair, and so much more.”

A novel
A powerful, tender story of race and identity by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun.