I was absolutely blown away by this short story collection by Adichie. She deserves every ounce of her reputation as a literary heavyweight and in The Thing Around Your Neck she documents the struggles of the clashes of different cultures with striking wisdom and flair.
Each one of Adichie’s beautifully crafted stories is searingly poignant. From a medical student caught up in a violent riot to a woman unlocking a devastating secret about her brothers death, from a young mother whose position in her own home is challenged when her husband back in Lagos moves his mistress into their home to a lonely Nigerian girl who finds that America is nothing like she expected.
I’m not an avid reader of short stories as I often find they rely heavily on metaphors which are beyond my comprehension or alternatively offer dissatisfying conclusions. Adichie tormented me with neither. Every story let me feeling connected to the characters, like I’d known them for some time, and offered me the experience of another culture that was unfamiliar to me. Adichie somehow packs each story with personality whilst also making each tale completely unique.
This wonderful novel spans generations and combines the power of 12 startling voices to share the experiences of British women of color. Mainly set in London we hear the story of a proud black lesbian playwright, her sassy super-feminist daughter and a sexually fluid millennial, just to name a couple.
It’s Black History Month in the UK and I decided this year I should finally get round to reading some of those incredible stories that I haven’t quite made time for yet.
I can definitely see why this books is a bit love it or hate it. The story of Dexter and Em is given to us in snapshots, Starting from their meeting at uni up to their late 30s, the book oozes sexual tension, but with an increasingly dark edge which reminded me of Sally Rooney’s novels.