The short story “The American Embassy” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie begins with an unnamed woman queueing outside the American embassy in Lagos. The man behind her tries to engage in a conversation with her, but she tries to ignore him and stay focused on the visa interview. She finds it difficult to concentrate, as she keeps on thinking about Ugonna, her dead son. 

The man behind her points out a man is being whipped by a soldier across the street. She ignores the his comments and focuses on the things she sees on the street instead. She recalls that her life was normal a few days ago, before smuggling her husband out of the country and burying her son, Ugonna.

The woman recalls that, four nights ago, three men barged into her home and asked about her husband....

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