The Thing Around Your Neck, Paperback
4 out of 5 (4 ratings)


From the Orange Prize-winning author of 'Half of a Yellow Sun' come twelve dazzling stories that turn a penetrating eye on the ties that bind men and women, parents and children, Nigeria and the West.

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 centre of 'Imitation' finds her comfortable life threatened when she learns that her husband back in Lagos has moved his mistress into their 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 re-examine them.

Searing and profound, suffused with beauty, sorrow and longing, this collection is a resounding confirmation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's prodigious storytelling powers.




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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

A wonderful collection of stories.This was a poweful collection of short stories with the general theme of Nigeria and Nigerians.The stories include interaction between Africans and Whites, integrating with other cultures, Nigerian history, the problems women face under the rule of men and other cultural aspects that make the lives of Africans so different from inhabitants of much of the West.Having loved Purple Hibiscus but ground to a halt in the middle of Half of a Yellow Sun, I was thrilled to have the chance to read another of Adichie's books. It did not disappoint.I particularly liked the female slant on the tales and the strong female characters. All in all a very satisfying read and definitely recommended.

Review by

I didn't enjoy this collection of short stories as much as I had hoped. I love tales from Africa, especially Nigeria, which is a country so full of literary possibilities that it's hard to know where to start. However, I found a lot of Adichie's stories to be too choked. They suffer from a writing style that I think is unnecessarily heavy; at times the writing, and the structure of the story, get in the way of the tale. The worst example is what could otherwise have been a very dramatic and moving tale of a woman trying to escape the country, and who whilst queueing for the embassy recalls the events of the last few days. It didn't work as well as it should have done. A much better story, told more linearly and with a freshness not present in much of the rest, is the opening tale of a young man arrested on suspicion of being part of a gang. The prose is so much more direct and powerful, and the political commentary more oblique. The story that concerns a writers' group in South Africa is too clearly political, the characters simply one-dimension puppets made to regurgitate political speeches, and reading their diatribes one after another is simply exhausting.

Review by
Cell One: 4/5 stars. An interesting little story about cults taking over a town. The narrator's brother gets into some trouble and ends up in jail. Adichie's writing is fluid and lovely to read, and I also liked the side story of the old man locked up instead of his son.

Imitation: 4/5 stars. This one was interesting. Once again, Adichie's writing style makes the story a pleasure to read. Imitation focuses on a Nigerian woman living in America. She has just discovered that her husband has another woman back in Nigeria. It was an interesting look at relationships.

A Private Experience: 5/5 stars. I really liked this one. It follows two women hiding out during a riot. The two women are very different and it's interesting watching them interact with each other. Parts of this one were a bit unsettling but this only added to the atmosphere and showed the grim reality of religious rioting.

Ghosts: 2/5 stars. I did not really enjoy this one. It was a bit boring and rambled a lot. There wasn't really much of a story and it did not hold my interest.

On Monday of Last Week: 4/5 stars. I liked this one. It's the story of a Nigerian woman working as a childminder for an odd couple. The woman has been quite depressed since she moved there. ''On Monday of Last Week'' something happens which changes her mood and we watch the woman attempt to make sense of the situation.

Jumping Monkey Hill : 2/5 stars. I didn't really like this one. There didn't really seem to be much of a story. It was following a woman at a writing workshop but nothing really happened. This one was not very impressive or interesting.

The Thing Around Your Neck: 5/5 stars. I absolutely loved this one. It's a short love story about a Nigerian woman in a relationship with a wealthy man she meets in America. Her struggle to adjust to his way of life was interesting and the ending was quite sad.

The American Embassy: 4/5 stars. I liked this one a lot. It's a snapshot of time of a woman waiting in line to apply for asylum in America. Her son has just died and her husband has fled. I did find the ending a bit abrupt, though.

The Shivering 3/5 stars. This one was okay. It started off good and was very intriguing. A girl was waiting to find out if her boyfriend had been killed in a plane crash. However, as the story went on, I felt it lost focus a bit and was a bit all over the place.

The Arrangers of Marriages: 5/5 stars. This one was really good. It tells the story of an arranged marriage of an African couple living in America. I found it heartbreaking to read about all the parts of her culture that she had to get rid of in order to ''fit in'' there. An interesting story with a strong, likable heroine.

Tomorrow is Too Far 4/5 stars. This was good enough. A quick story about a girl reflecting on her brother's death and the real story behind it. I felt it was a bit rushed and could have been slowed down slightly but other than that, it was enjoyable.
Review by

This is a superb collection of short stories by the Nigerian author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Each story offers different perspectives: the African experience, life as a woman, the clash of cultures (African/Western, religions). <br/>Adichie is a very good author.<br/>This book is fantastic.

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