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The Thing Around Your Neck Paperback – 1 Oct 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (1 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007306210
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007306213
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.6 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria in 1977. Her first novel 'Purple Hibiscus' was published in 2003 and was longlisted for the Booker Prize. Her second novel 'Half of a Yellow Sun' won the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her work has been selected by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and the BBC Short Story Awards, has appeared in various literary publications, including Zoetrope and The Iowa Review. She won a MacArthur 'genius' grant in 2009, and in 2010 appeared on the New Yorker's list of the best 20 writers under 40.

Product Description

Review

‘“The Thing Around your Neck”, with its warm and sympathetic heroines and its finely cadenced un-American English prose, demonstrates that she is keeping faith with her talent and with her country.’ Lindsay Duguid, Sunday Times

‘Her particular gift is the seductive ability to tell a story…Adichie writes with an economy and precision that makes the strange seem familiar. She makes storytelling seem as easy as birdsong.’ Jane Shilling, Telegraph

‘Adichie’s spare, poised prose, the coolness of her phrasing, ensures these scenes are achieved without melodrama. And though she writes very specifically about Nigeria, the stories have a universal application.’ FT

‘An elegant collection. From beginning to end the prose is serene and the characterization deft.’ TLS

‘The powerful themes close to Adichie’s heart shine through, but never over-shadow writing of clarity and brilliance.’ Aminatta Forna, Guardian

About the Author

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria in 1977. Her first novel ‘Purple Hibiscus’ was published in 2003 and was longlisted for the Booker Prize. Her second novel ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ won the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction. Her short story collection, ‘The Thing Around Your Neck’, was published to critical acclaim in 2009. Her work has been selected by the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association and the BBC Short Story Awards, has appeared in various literary publications, including Zoetrope and The Iowa Review. She won a MacArthur ‘genius’ grant in 2009, and in 2010 appeared on the New Yorker’s list of the best 20 writers under 40. Her third novel, ‘Americanah’, was published to widespread critical acclaim in 2013. She lives in Nigeria.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Jackie on 28 April 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is the best selection of short stories I have ever read. Chimamanda's ability to draw you into each of the characters in such a small space of time is phenomenal. The short stories are focused upon Nigerian life, but many of them are based in other countries. The balance between tragedy and happiness is perfect, leading to a book which does not dwell on hardship, but shows vivid glimpses of it, making the messages come across far more powerfully than continual horrific scenes.

Each story is unique, and although they all contain Nigerian characters, none have the same atmosphere or feel like repetitions of the same idea. The book is very easy to read, and is the perfect introduction to her writing style, as Half of a Yellow Sun, although amazing, is very long.

The only flaw in this book is that I was left yearning to know more about each character. I could easily have read whole novels based on each short story, in fact I'd be happy to read a book written by her once a month for the rest of my life! Sorry for gushing, but talent like this needs to be read by everyone!

Highly recommended to everyone!!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By K. Wright VINE VOICE on 24 Mar. 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
After reading and enjoying Adichie's debut "Purple Hibiscus" and the follow up "Half of a Yellow Sun," I was eagerly anticipating this collection of twelve short stories from the Nigerian author and it doesn't disappoint.

"The Thing Around Your Neck" is similar to her previous work in that the stories focus on Nigerian culture and issues, however I found the stories easier to read. I think this is perhaps because they had a more contemporary and somewhat Westernised feel compared to her 2 novels set in the 60's. Many of the short stories are also influenced by the time Adichie now spends in America.

I would recommend Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and all her works highly and look forward to reading more from her in the future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr Gumby TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Jun. 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What a wonderful book. I somehow overlooked this gifted Nigerian-born author's first two novels but now plan to read them at the first opportunity.

These stories are original, compelling and absorbing. Adichie manages to draw you in, filling you with confidence in her story-telling, and all within a few sentences. I love her writing - her use of language and the ease with which stories seem to roll off her pen. In particular, the bemusement felt by characters who find themselves in America for the first time is oh-so cleverly portrayed.

Some of the stories seem to end a little prematurely, abruptly even, but that is simply down to economy of style and leaves you free to use a little imagination. Mind you, there is probably room for each to be developed into a book in its own right.

This is certainly my favourite collection of short stories and I would urge anyone to try them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By AR VINE VOICE on 18 July 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is an excellent book, filled with beautifully written stories about life in Nigeria, and the experiences of Nigerians in America. I often find short story collections underwhelming, but this one doesn't disappoint, especially after having read the author's previous book Half of a Yellow Sun. There are a couple of stories that are weaker than the rest, but not enough to let the book as a whole down.

Stories such as 'A Private Experience' and 'The American Embassy' return to the theme of political and civil unrest in Nigeria, and both are powerful and moving pieces about how people deal with turmoil and loss. 'The Thing Around Your Neck' and 'The Arrangers of Marriage' explore young women who have moved to the US for a new life that has not lived up to their expectations. The cultural differences between America and Africa, and even recent and long-term immigrants are presented as vast and confusing.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a brilliant and intelligent writer and I would recommend her books to anyone who enjoys literature. This collection is poignant and moving, and full of life.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Cat Mac VINE VOICE on 16 July 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
My idea of a perfect short story is a tale of about 25 pages that doesn't attempt to resolve or explain everything in that space, but instead leaves the reader wanting to read the finished novel - should it ever be written!

When it's done well, a collection of these stories would potentially leave you demanding that the author write full novels for each of them, just so you can see how it ends up. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie can expect to see my letter in the post, because I want to read the completed stories for all of her tales collected here.

Essentially, she's being a big tease!

The writing style is fluid and not wasteful of language, and although some of the themes are similar (well read Nigerians ending up at the bottom of the ladder when they get to America), the characters are distinct enough, and their stories are also different enough. Absolutely perfect to dip in and out of, or even better to sit and read in one hit. Recommended!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 26 April 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is officially one author whose work I will buy anytime something new is out with no worry, she's passed the test. Her short stories are as exciting & insightful as her first two novels. From the start of each story she captivates you. Interstingly enough, her stories could be set anywhere in the world and it's not restricted by race, class & all the usual divisive categories. I wanted more after the ending of each story in a good way. The stories are strong from the start with a good variety of subjects, arranged marriages, polictical intrigue & murders,conflict between modern & tradional customs, emigration. I espcially love the fact that all Ngozie's characters are able to think, they're not one dimensional. Buy the book I promise it won't disappoint. The stories are insightful but not heavy.
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