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.
"Haunting Adichie deploys her calm, deceptive prose to portray women in Nigeria and America who are forced to match their wits against threats ranging from marauding guerillas to microwave ovens The devastating final piece, 'The Headstrong Historian,' seems to carry the whole history of a continent in its bones: tragic, defiant, revelatory." -Michael Lindgren, The Washington Post
"Don't let Adichie's highbrow resume scare you away from her accessible and compelling short story collection. Yes, the 31 year old Nigerian writer won a 2008 MacArthur Genius award. But unlike many literary authors, she eschews pretentious obscurity in favor of clarity. In these stories set both in Nigeria and in the USA, she touches on religion, corruption, Nigeria's civil war and living in America as a lonely African wife. Mostly, however, she creates indelible characters who jump off the page and into your head and heart."-Deirdre Donahue, USA Today
"Wonderfully crafted Prose this skillful deserves international acclaim. Insightful, powerful and brimming with characters that seem to leap from the printed page, this collection is nothing less than a literary feast."-Larry Cox, Tucson Citizen