My rating: 4 stars
Each short story in the collection The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie presents the reader with an attribute of Nigerian society by focusing on a specific person or family. It delves into a variety of themes, including corruption, people that live between Nigeria and the US (both physically and culturally), religious differences, violence, women always being expected to have children and arranged marriages.
Various enthralling stories are set in American soil. In ‘The Shivering’, two Nigerians forge a friendship, in spite of not always being truthful. Their dialogues and the development of their connection is engrossing. Two Nigerian women that moved to the US take centre stage in ‘On Monday of Last Week’ and ‘The Thing Around Your Neck’. They are both remarkable and complex characters.
Although many of the stories share a similar tone, another of the themes delved into is the existence of people from different backgrounds in a country. In ‘Cell One’, young people from middle-class families steal things from each other’s houses, but the blame falls on people from the poorer parts of town. The brother of the narrator was irresponsible and kept getting into trouble. Soon he was accused of being part of a university cult, which was similar to a gang. The story portrays the good and bad in people. The paths of two people from different social backgrounds also cross in ‘A Private Experience’. Chika is caught in a riot and is helped by a woman from a different faith. Continue reading