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The Thing Around Your Neck

4.15  ·  Rating Details ·  10,977 Ratings  ·  1,214 Reviews
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 Ache ...more
ebook, 224 pages
Published June 16th 2009 by Anchor
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Beloved by Toni MorrisonThe Color Purple by Alice WalkerThe Darkest Child by Delores PhillipsSugar by Bernice L. McFaddenHalf of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Contemporary Black Women's Literature
50th out of 224 books — 117 voters
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Irresistible Titles
281st out of 282 books — 9 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Katharine
Jul 05, 2012 Katharine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Only because I am reading alphabetically through my library's fiction shelves, did I this book up. My self-imposed rules are that I don't read any back covers or inside flaps, I just read the first 50 pages and then decide if the book is worth finishing. Had I read the back flap, my silly prejudices would have forced me to put it down and pick up, instead, a silly rom-com. I am a white, WASP, 44 year old, egocentric American with an average education and little travel experience, it would never ...more
Julie
Several years ago, Jhumpa Lahiri entranced me with her stories of the sorrows, hopes and realities of being an immigrant in the United States. Through her characters, she showed how it felt to be pushed away from your own country by oppression and poverty into another that so often treated you like a shadow.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's 2009 collection That Thing Around Your Neck offers stories with these same themes, written with the same grace and power. Unlike Lahiri, however—whom I discovered
...more
Tea Jovanović
Apr 20, 2013 Tea Jovanović rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zbirka priča magičnog pripovedača!
Maxwell
Jan 22, 2015 Maxwell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I fell in love with Adichie's work after reading her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, around a year ago. She has a way of creating extremely well-developed characters that are vivid and flawed. She doesn't shy away from the darker sides of humanity, but all along she reminds you that there is hope and joy to be found even in little things.

Each of these stories was incredibly immersive. I felt like the characters could've been contained in full-length novels, rather than in just 20 or so pages
...more
Joca
Jul 15, 2016 Joca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Opinião em vídeo (aos 9:33):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exbSU...
Sokari
Jun 04, 2010 Sokari rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nigeria, women-gender
What an excellent set of short stories exploring the human condition with all its flaws and neurosis. Adichie addresses the institution of marriage - arranged marriage, infidelity; same sex desire, sibling rivalry and the consequences of subordinating female children; she then intersects these with immigration and migration and interracial relationships. Each story is complete yet you feel it could also form the basis for a longer novel. Unlike many young Nigerian writers Adichie's language is u ...more
Emer (ALittleHaze)
Finally managed to finish this collection of shorts this morning. Favourite author taking two-ish months to read!!!!! Yeah that is one heck of a book slump!

Full review to come.
Paul
Jul 30, 2016 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars rounded up
An excellent set of short stories which concentrate mostly on the lives and experiences of Nigerian women; ranging over issues such as tragedy, political and religious violence, new relationships (especially marriage), loneliness, sadness, displacement and the many problems of post colonialism. There is plenty of social and political comment, but it is wrapped up in human stories. The stories move between Nigeria and the US; the homeland and what is seen to be the Promised La
...more
Aubrey
4.5/5
The first thing that came to Ujunwa's mind was to ask if Isabel ever needed royal blood to explain the good looks of friends back in London.
Look, I'm fully committed to rooting for Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie until the Nobel Prize for Lit committee gets their collective head out of their collective ass and gives it to her (spare me the political yibble yabble. My knowing what's up hasn't killed my excitement yet, so leave me this and go ruin Santa Clause or US democracy or something of that
...more
Cheryl
I'm so thrilled that before he left this earth, Chinua Achebe blessed West Africa with a younger version of his literary self. Of her first three pieces:( Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun included) this Adichie collection seems to really highlight Achebe's influence and this is a thrilling thing to see.

Compelling and witty characters, revelatory stories, and just the right amount of sensory elements to help me visualize--just how I like my short stories. Then again, Chimamanda Adichie is
...more
Richard
Jul 27, 2011 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can barely begin to explain the catharsis of reading Adichie's prose. In particular, I am captivated by the way her stories respond to the expectations of "ethnic fiction" and "African fiction," as genres full of Third-world starvation and refugees. She deftly handles subjectivities of black African positionality, facets of identity which the market would slam as "inauthentic," or "not African enough." Her stories are delightfully astute, her characters cracking the lenses by which one might e ...more
Cris
Dec 31, 2015 Cris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Como muchos, descubrí las palabras de Chimamanda a través de un par de charlas TED que hay disponibles en la red (The danger of a single story y We should all be feminists). Ya entonces quedó claro que esta mujer tiene mucho que decir y me entró curiosidad por leer algo suyo.

Este libro es una colección de 12 relatos cortos, las raíces de muchos de los cuales surgen de la propia experiencia de la autora: nació en Enugu, Nigeria, y a la edad de 19 años emigró a Estados Unidos para estudiar y desar
...more
Kinga
Oct 06, 2011 Kinga rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is my more famous Nigerian alter-ego. These stories might not be literary perfect but they completely match my sensibilities. They touch on the same themes that haunt me and my sad attempts at writing - disappointment, self-consciousness, the immigrant experience on the very personal, intimate level.

Each story meant something to me and it would be hard for me to find the one that was my least favourite. I loved those that described the cultural foundation as sha
...more
Marieke
I'm not typically a short story reader, especially in collections like this. But having read both of Adichie's novels (and loved them), i was curious to see how i would fare with her stories. I decided to read one per day during my lunch break, and after two days i was looking forward each day to the next story. Normally when reading a novel i look forward to finding out what happens next. My experience in the past with short stories is that i have struggled to read back-to-back stories by the s ...more
Alan
These, by now, are familiar stories of immigrants to America adjusting to a clash of cultures, which exposes faults on both sides and tests relationships. Lahiri springs to mind, Mukherjee, or Le Thi Diem Thuy, but Adichie lacks Lahiri's subtlety and power and the latter's poetic wonder.

The stories set wholly in Africa detailing close scrapes with civil war/unrest in Nigeria, or its prison system or, eg, a queue outside the American embassy in Lagos studiously ignoring the 'soldier flogging a b
...more
Jill
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has that rare ability to portray the contradictions of the human condition. Over and over again, she returns to themes of exile, homesickness, and alienation. In the title story, the young narrator gains a prized American visa and goes to her uncle’s home in Maine. “They spoke Igbo and ate garri for lunch and it was like home until your uncle came into the cramped basement where you slept and pulled you forcefully to him…” recalls the barely-adult girl.

Again, in Arrange
...more
Sookie
Apr 19, 2016 Sookie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adichie explores effect of politics, social changes, consumerism, familial conflicts, Africa as a unit vs. Africa as seen by outside world, alienation in a foreign land, cultural diversity, ethnicity within the borders, moving to America for a better future, etc. She uses these themes to expose humanity in sometimes gut wrenching and mostly realistic depiction of people. She is a great observer of life and people around her.

"Cell One" is story of a handsome college student from a respectable
...more
David Dacosta


Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s writing is polished and self-assured. Her story execution leaves much to be desired, though. The collection is a mixed bag. Adichie seems determined to create the impression that Nigerian immigrants are typically university educated, as if the notion of an African man or woman without a degree seeking a better life abroad is somehow an oversimplified concept. This fixation with status and superficiality soon becomes a dominate theme.

It’s impossible to read The Thing A
...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
Astonishing. In 12 short stories this accomplished Nigerian writer, using her experience and knowledge of Nigerian history and culture as her prism, skillfully encompasses the entirety of being human in a world where how one relates to people can determine happiness or success. Some of the stories are placed in Nigeria, and the authentic detail is marvelous, and some of the stories are of Nigerian immigrants living uneasily in America, uncertain of acceptance by neighbors and employers, while st ...more
Patrick O'Neil
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie writes of displacement. Of loss, of dysphoria, and of strange new begins for disseminated people in strange lands - which is some instances is their own country. She has the uncomfortableness of it all down to a science. She brings in the familiar, she talks of the past. She has concise images of family, friends, and former lives newly forgotten and traded away for the future. America seems to play the reluctant role of redemption, although it is always with a price. Goi ...more
Katherine
Really, really enjoyed this book. I'm not usually one for short stories, but since reading Americanah, I have been a huge fan of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Her storytelling abilities and the way that she connects women and men, family and strangers, parents and children, and Nigeria and the United States are incredible. She has an innate ability to craft stories that are gripping, eye-opening, compelling.

So, I decided to pick up The Thing Around Your Neck. The characters, even for the few pages
...more
Elli (The Bibliophile)
Jan 08, 2015 Elli (The Bibliophile) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Really good collection of short stories. All of the stories dealt with Nigerian characters, many of them immigrants to the United States, and their experiences both in and out of Nigeria. Adichie's writing is simple, but very nice to read. I'm very happy to have read this collection, but am now sad that I've read all of her books and that there's nothing left! I look forward to her next published book (hopefully it is soon!)
Amena
Sep 19, 2015 Amena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Buy it. Read it. Never have any regrets. IN LOVE.
Jose
Infelizmente não gostei tanto quanto estava à espera... Gostei da escrita e das mensagens, mas o conto é um tipo de história que muito raramente me cativa :(
Ema
Oct 22, 2015 Ema rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Doze contos fantásticos. Achei uns melhores que outros, tenho alguns preferidos, mas considerei todos de grande qualidade. Retratam uma realidade com a qual não tenho muito contacto, passando por variadíssimos temas, por isso permitiu-me conhecer um bocadinho de uma nova cultura e de um novo panorama. A escrita da autora é muito agradável e puxa-nos para a leitura. Alguns dos contos deixaram-me perplexa com o final, e sem dúvida que todos eles mexeram comigo, cada um à sua maneira. Vou querer le ...more
Alice Lippart
A beautiful and honest collection. Utterly fascinating.
Jenny (Reading Envy)
The stories set in Nigeria demonstrate the clash and confusion of war infiltrating a society where it simply doesn't make sense. The stories set in the United States reflect another clash, of the cultural differences and what Nigerian expatriates go through as they try to acclimate to "American culture" from various perspectives and intentions. At the heart of everything is relationship, and my favorite stories were less global and more personal, like "The Shivering" and "Tomorrow is Too Far."
Danika at The Lesbrary
This was so good. More of a 4.5 than 4. There was one story where I had to put the book down and walk it off just to process it. Definitely one that I will be coming back to, and I'll be reading her other books as well. (Also, surprise queer content! Always appreciated.)
Lin
I was going to give individual ratings and thoughts on all 12 short stories. As it is, I just loved all of them! A great testimony of Nigerian culture and people as well as proof that there is no single story in Adichies stories!
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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian author. Her best known novels are Purple Hibiscus (2003), Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), and Americanah (2013).

She was born in Enugu, Nigeria, the fifth of six children to Igbo parents. She studied medicine and pharmacy at the University of Nigeria for a year and a half. At nineteen, Chimamanda left for the U.S. to study communication at Drexel Universit
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“She could not complain about not having shoes when the person she was talking to had no legs.” 54 likes
“It is one of the things she has come to love about America, the abundance of unreasonable hope.” 6 likes
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