The Thing Around Your Neck (Magill's Literary Annual 2010)
When Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was awarded the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship (the so-called genius grant) in September, 2008, the foundation praised her two novels, Purple Hibiscus (2003) and Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), and called her “a young writer who illuminates the complexities of human experience in works inspired by events in her native Nigeria.” In Adichie’s new short-story collection, The Thing Around Your Neck (2009), she demonstrates the same insight into her characters and the same compassion for them, but she expands her range to include characters who have left Nigeria for a new life in the United States. The characters in the collection’s twelve stories struggle to determine where their home is, who their people are, and how an increasingly globalized worldeven a relatively peaceful oneshapes their identity.
Many of the characters in this collection are immigrants who have come to the United States for college, as Adichie did, or to follow their husbands, or to look for a better life. These stories join those by Jhumpa Lahiri collected in Interpreter of Maladies (1999), Monica Ali’s novel Brick Lane (2003), and other works that illuminate the promise and ultimate disappointment of the immigrant experience. These authors present charactersmostly womenwith one foot back home and one foot in the new world, eager for new experiences but unwilling to sever ties with the old ways. Scenes of...
(The entire section is 1720 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!
Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 2010)
Booklist 105, no. 7 (May 1, 2009): 66.
Books & Culture 15, no. 4 (July/August, 2009): 30-31.
The Christian Science Monitor, July 31, 2009, p. 25.
Kirkus Reviews 77, no. 9 (May 1, 2009): 43.
Library Journal 134, no. 7 (April 15, 2009): 88-89.
The New Republic 240, no. 17 (September 23, 2009): 52-55.
The New York Times, July 3, 2009, p. C21.
The New York Times Book Review, August 30, 2009, p. 16.
Publishers Weekly 256, no. 14 (April 6, 2009): 27-28.
The Times Literary Supplement, April 3, 2009, p. 20.
Vanity Fair, no. 586 (June, 2009): 62.
World Literature Today 83, no. 5 (September/October, 2009): 61-62.
(The entire section is 68 words.)