The Thing Around Your Neck

Read Yes
Length 218
Quick Review Twelve short stories in one book exploring women’s lives in Nigeria and America. As always, I highly recommend it because Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is amazing. 

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Up until now, I have only read Adichie’s novels, so I was excited to read her short stories. She is renowned for her story teller’s expertise, and has been published in some of the best journals including The Iowa Review – a little home-state pride!

Her style, as always, is incredibly straightforward but incredibly nuanced. Her imagery paints a clear picture of the world her characters live in. Her endings are abrupt leaving the reader craving for more yet allowing each person to take away something different. Though the endings are always frustrating, I keep coming back to them wondering what happened.

Adichie explores the realities of womanhood. The meaning of being a black woman in Nigeria and the U.S., and how those meanings and realities differ. The trials and tribulations of being a woman, a black woman, and an immigrant are shown instead of explained. It’s a resonating exploration of how outsiders men, white women, non-immigrants/outsiders of a culture fail to understand the essence of what a black woman’s experience is. Though I share the identity of woman and can identify and understand those trials, I can only read, ask questions, research, but mostly listen to black women (really any woman of color) to understand the obstacles they must overcome, which I do not have to.

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I recommend anything Adichie writes. Especially if you want to begin learning, empathizing, and hopefully empowering those different from yourself.

Memorable Quotes
“Then Chika feels a prick of guilt for wondering if this woman’s mind is large enough to grasp any of that.”
“But why do we say nothing?”
“It’s never quite like that in real life, is it? Women are never victims in that sort of crude way.”

Title : The Thing Around Your Neck
Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichi
Publisher: Anchor Books
Copyright: 2009
ISBN: 9780307455918

 

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