Monday, June 14, 2010

The Thing Around Your Neck by: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

These twelve dazzling stories from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie — the Orange Broadband Prize–winning author of Half of a Yellow Sun — are her most intimate works to date.

In these stories Adichie turns her penetrating eye to the ties that bind men and women, parents and children, Nigeria and the United States. In “A Private Experience,” a medical student hides from a violent riot with a poor Muslim woman, and the young mother at the centre of “Imitation” finds her comfortable life in Philadelphia threatened when she learns that her husband has moved his mistress into their Lagos home.

Searing and profound, suffused with beauty, sorrow and longing, this collection is a resounding confirmation of Adichie’s prodigious literary powers.
There was not a story in this collection that I didn't enjoy in some way. Each was well written and contained individual tales that shown two completely different cultures. It was interesting to read the stories where the characters came to America, I liked seeing the differences between the cultures.
Her style of writing is simple but strong, and her descriptions are very vivid. She's a wonderful writer. Her stories were realistic; that's what I think made them so powerful. Her characters were people I could relate to, even though I come from a completely different background. Her characters were selfish at times and completely human.
If I were forced to choose, I'd say the first story was the weakest. I think the stories I enjoyed the most were probably the title story and "Tomorrow Is Too Far". But I liked all of them for separate reasons.
Adichie is also one of the only writers to write a story using "you" as the narration that I think works. Usually I'm not too fond of those sorts of narrations, but she made it work.
I'll definitely be reading more by her. If her novels are anything like her short stories, I know I'll love them. This was a great collection I'll definitely be re-reading.
Overall rating: 10/10


  1. Interesting review! I'll add this one to my list. I don't read a lot of short stories, and I keep meaning to change that.

    By the way, I found you through the Book Hop.

  2. Thanks so much! I hope you like it if you do decide to check it out (: Short stories are definitely a dying art, I think.

    Oh, awesome! (: