Sunday, 5 April 2009

Book of the Week and bibliography - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, The Thing Around Your Neck

The Thing Around Your Neck is a volume of short stories from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, who was born in Nigeria in 1977. Adichie wrote two early books (a play and a volume of poetry; both now uncommon) under the name Amanda N Adichie, with more recent works publiched as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Her first novel, Purple Hibiscus, won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. It was also short-listed for the Orange Prize and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and long-listed for the Booker Prize. Her second novel, Half a Yellow Sun, won the Orange Prize.

Adichie is from Abba, in Anambra State, but grew up in the university town of Nsukka where she attended primary and secondary schools and briefly studied Medicine and Pharmacy. She then moved to the United States to attend college, graduating summa cum laude from Eastern Connecticut State with a major in Communication and a minor in Political Science. She holds a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Johns Hopkins and a Masters degree in African Studies from Yale. She currently divides her time between the United States and Nigeria.

Adichie is a young writer, but one who has already made a significant impact on a global stage. Her current volume of short stories has been very well received, and coupled with two successful novels this suggests that she is a good author to start collecting now. She may well become an important and internationally recognised writer in the future.

"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 threatened when she learns that her husband back in Lagos has moved his mistress into their 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 re-examine them. Searing and profound, suffused with beauty, sorrow and longing, this collection is a resounding confirmation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's prodigious storytelling powers."


As Amanda N.Adichie

Decisions (London: Minerva Press, 1997).
For Love of Biafra (Ibadan: Spectrum Books, 1998).

As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Purple Hibiscus (London: Fourth Estate, 2004)
Half a Yellow Sun (London; Fourth Estate, London, 2006). There was, in addition, a 250 copy slipcased edition, signed and numbered.
The Thing Around Your Neck (London: Fourth Estate, 2009)

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