The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Synopsis

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.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah. 
 

About Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria. Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. It was also short-listed for the Orange Prize and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Her short fiction has appeared in Granta and The Iowa Review among other literary journals, and she received an O. Henry Prize in 2003. She is a 2005-2006 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University and divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.
 
Published June 14, 2009 by Anchor. 241 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Unrated Critic Reviews for The Thing Around Your Neck

Kirkus Reviews

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A dozen stories about the lives of Nigerians at home and in America from the winner of the Orange Broadband Prize.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of The Thing Around Your Neck

Publishers Weekly

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Adichie (Half of a Yellow Sun ) stays on familiar turf in her deflated first story collection. The tension between Nigerians and Nigerian-Americans, and the quest

Apr 06 2009 | Read Full Review of The Thing Around Your Neck

The New York Times

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Stories reflecting an immigrant’s experiences in Africa and the United States.

Aug 30 2009 | Read Full Review of The Thing Around Your Neck

The Guardian

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The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie Buy it from the Guardian bookshop Search the Guardian bookshop The short stories in this collection from the ...

Oct 18 2009 | Read Full Review of The Thing Around Your Neck

The Guardian

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In 2007 Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie won the Orange prize with her Biafran epic Half of a Yellow Sun, which went on to sell half a million copies in the UK alone.

May 16 2009 | Read Full Review of The Thing Around Your Neck

Publishers Weekly

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Adichie (Half of a Yellow Sun ) stays on familiar turf in her deflated first story collection.

Apr 06 2009 | Read Full Review of The Thing Around Your Neck

BC Books

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Probably the first book about Africa most Westerners my age read was written by a European. Most lik...A journey into African worlds we don't often have a chance to explore.

Jun 28 2009 | Read Full Review of The Thing Around Your Neck

BC Books

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The 12 stories are roughly split between the two settings, but no matter where, or when, the story takes place, what struck me most was the emotional honesty she brings to her work.

Jun 29 2009 | Read Full Review of The Thing Around Your Neck

Los Angeles Times

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The Nigerian writer's third book is a collection of stories in which individuals struggle for freedom but are caught at the ends of invisible tethers.

Aug 30 2009 | Read Full Review of The Thing Around Your Neck

The Telegraph

One need read no further than the opening pages of her first story, .

Apr 02 2009 | Read Full Review of The Thing Around Your Neck

Open Letters Monthly

The title story and “Tomorrow Is Too Far” and the kind of-sort of ghost story “Ghosts” do break form a little—the first two primarily because they’re written in second-person—but I wonder what would happen if, instead of following the dictum: “write what you know,” Adichie used her prodigious cra...

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Review (Barnes & Noble)

"The Headstrong Historian," one of the longest and most complex stories in the volume, features a scholar who takes control of her life by writing a new history of her people that supplants the colonial textbook she carried in her schoolbag.

Jun 15 2009 | Read Full Review of The Thing Around Your Neck

Huntington News

in a story titled "The American Embassy" she uses the British/Nigerian word "boot" referring to the luggage compartment of a dissident journalist's car: "The day before, she had driven her husband in the boot of their Toyota to the home of a friend, who smuggled him out of the country."

Jun 21 2009 | Read Full Review of The Thing Around Your Neck

MostlyFiction Book Reviews

 She is waiting in line at the U.S. embassy to seek political asylum in the U.S.  While in line, she reminisces about her marriage, her son, and the events leading to her son’s death.

Aug 29 2010 | Read Full Review of The Thing Around Your Neck

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Anastasia Lebedev 13 Aug 2013

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