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The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda…
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The Thing Around Your Neck (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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660None14,475 (4.04)127
Member:qofd
Title:The Thing Around Your Neck
Authors:Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Info:Anchor (2010), Edition: 1, Paperback, 240 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:read2012, short stories, African, strong women

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The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2009)

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English (31)  Danish (1)  All languages (32)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Great stories, giving a feel for the culture gap between educated Nigerians and the U.S. All with female central character, gives insight there too. The writing is fluent and vivid with much sensuous texture. Enhanced further by the reading brilliantly 'read' by Adjoa Andoh, including a dozen different Nigerian regional accents, 3 pain-in-the-ass American kids and an Irish priest. ( )
  vguy | Nov 28, 2013 |
Adichie's short prose is quick and colorful despite its often heavy subject matter. Her unexpected second-person narration wavers between effectively engaging and a little too gimmicky -- I never made it all the way into being the "You" telling the story. Nevertheless, the collection of stories effortlessly bridges the divide between the majority American experience, and the liminal, precarious existence of African immigrants in this country -- especially those people who don't fall neatly into an economic/class bracket. ( )
  50MinuteMermaid | Nov 14, 2013 |
A very intriguing book!
Usually with short stories I have the feeling that there are pieces missing, or, that I want more of it. With these stories I had neither. For some reason they were to the point, with nothing superfluous, but also nothing lacking. I liked the stories.

For a reader who's not very fond of Africa (writers and stories set there) tihs was a pleasant discovery. Human emotions, bonds and ties are everywhere and, although maybe expressed differently, the core is still the same.

I'm not sure why the book is called 'The Tinhg around Your Neck' apart from maybe the catching line. From the book this was the story I liked the least...

The one I liked the best was The Headstrong Historian, closely followed by Cell One. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Jun 5, 2013 |
As one of the apparently rare few who wasn't blown away by Half of a Yellow Sun, I took a gamble on Adichie's short story collection, The Thing Around Your Neck--and I'm very glad that I did. These twelve stories all feature Nigerian protagonists, but the settings, time periods, and situations shift from the 1967 Biafran war, to immigrants in the contemporary United States, back to a time when white missionaries were still a rare sight in Nigeria. Many of the stories deal with women struggling to balance between the old ways and the new, but Adichie also focuses on Nigeria's brutal politics, history of violence, divisive class system, and exploitation by the west. But behind those messages are real characters--real people--working hard at relationships and trying to make tomorrow just a little better than today. Adichie's writing itself is engaging and compelling, and the stories have encouraged me to seek pout her other novels. Perhaps even to give Half of a Yellow Sun another try. ( )
1 vote Cariola | May 20, 2013 |
This collection of twelve short stories begins in Nigeria, exploring contemporary life and the effects of the 1967 Biafran Civil War. Later stories focus on immigration issues and life in the United States. I was struck by Adichie's ability to write a well-crafted and deep plot, with very real characters, all in 15-20 pages. These stories hooked me within a few sentences -- I really cared about the characters, to a degree that's unusual for the short story form. Some of the better stories included:

  • Imitation - A woman living in the US with her children sees her husband only once a year. When she learns he is having an affair back home in Nigeria, she takes an important step to change the situation.

  • A Private Experience - A woman caught in a riot takes refuge in an abandoned shop and finds another woman there. One is Igbo, the other Muslim, but they share a few hours of community and support each other through loss.

  • The Thing Around Your Neck - in this immigration story, a Nigerian woman's relationship with a white man creates cultural tension.


Adichie is better known for her novels, Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun; the latter won the Orange Prize (now Women's Prize) for Fiction. The Thing Around Your Neck demonstrates the broad range of her writing talent. ( )
  lauralkeet | Apr 27, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
In a few stories in this collection Ms. Adichie resorts to easy stereotypes of Westerners . . . For the most part, however, she avoids such easy formulations. In fact the most powerful stories in this volume depict immensely complicated, conflicted characters.
 
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The first time our house was robbed, it was our neighbor Osita who climbed in through the dining room window and stole our TV, our VCR, and the "Purple Rain" and "Thriller" videotapes my father had brought back from America.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307271072, Hardcover)

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie burst onto the literary scene with her remarkable debut novel, Purple Hibiscus, which critics hailed as “one of the best novels to come out of Africa in years” (Baltimore Sun), with “prose as lush as the Nigerian landscape that it powerfully evokes” (The Boston Globe); The Washington Post called her “the twenty-first-century daughter of Chinua Achebe.” Her award-winning Half of a Yellow Sun became an instant classic upon its publication three years later, once again putting her tremendous gifts—graceful storytelling, knowing compassion, and fierce insight into her characters’ hearts—on display. Now, in her most intimate and seamlessly crafted work to date, Adichie turns her penetrating eye on not only Nigeria but America, in twelve dazzling stories that explore the ties that bind men and women, parents and children, Africa and the United States.

In “A Private Experience,” a medical student hides from a violent riot with a poor Muslim woman whose dignity and faith force her to confront the realities and fears she’s been pushing away. In “Tomorrow is Too Far,” a woman unlocks the devastating secret that surrounds her brother’s death. The young mother at the center of “Imitation” finds her comfortable life in Philadelphia threatened when she learns that her husband has moved his mistress into their Lagos home. And the title story depicts the choking loneliness of a Nigerian girl who moves to an America that turns out to be nothing like the country she expected; though falling in love brings her desires nearly within reach, a death in her homeland forces her to reexamine them.

Searing and profound, suffused with beauty, sorrow, and longing, these stories map, with Adichie’s signature emotional wisdom, the collision of two cultures and the deeply human struggle to reconcile them. The Thing Around Your Neck is a resounding confirmation of the prodigious literary powers of one of our most essential writers.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:03 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

A collection of twelve stories includes the tale of a medical student in hiding with a poor Muslim woman, and a woman who discovers a devastating secret about her brother's death.

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