I must preface my review of the anthology, The Thing Around Your Neck, by stating that I have previously read Half of a Yellow Sun by the author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Therefore, my expectations were perhaps a bit lofty going into reading this collection of short stories which deal with the challenges confronting Nigerians at home in Nigeria and abroad as immigrants in America. On the whole, I must confess I was not captivated by many of Adichie’s stories. Apart from the eponymous story The Thing Around Your Neck, Ghosts, A Private Experience and Tommorow is Too Far, I did not really feel engaged with the majority of the stories. In fact, the first few stories failed to compel me to want to read further. I found that I could never read more than two stories in a row before wanting to set aside the book, which was somewhat disappointing. I cannot quite put my finger on why The Thing Around Your Neck failed to live up to my expectations, but somehow several of the stories seemed flat and uninspired – as if they were not written by someone of Adichie’s caliber as a writer. Yet there were certainly flashes of her brilliance as a scribe in the stories highlighted above. I observe that she really comes into her own when writes about Nigeria, especially the Biafra War and the pogroms in which many Igbos were slaughtered by Hausa’s in the north of Nigeria. Her stories set in America, which are authentic to immigrant life there, however, do not seem to run as deep nor feel as emotionally connected to her. So in summary, I would only recommend this book to you if you are keenly interested in the breadth and range of Adichie’s literary work. If you do decide to read The Thing Around Your Neck I would advise you to skim through the stories to see which ones appeal to you rather than reading it cover to cover.
Have you read The Thing Around Your Neck nthology or another of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s books? Which story in The Thing Around Your Neck was your favorite? What did you enjoy the most about her writing? Please feel free to share your thoughts in a comment below. Thanks as always for stopping by! Also, if you would like to receive more updates about my writing please consider joining my newsletter mailing list by subscribing below.