Book Review: The Thing Around Your Neck

The Thing Around Your Neck (Book Cover)

I have read Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart last 2014 and I was dissatisfied with the ending. That book showed me a glimpse of African Literature. Just recently, I’ve read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s collection of short stories and I was awed. It was so good that I yearned for more.

The Thing Around Your Neck (Published June 16th 2009 Knopf) boasts of 12 short story titles about Nigerian culture, dreams, and history. These titles include Cell One, Imitation, A Private Experience, On Monday Of Last Week, Jumping Monkey HIll, The Thing Around Your Neck, The American Embassy, The Shivering, The Arrangers of Marriage, Tomorrow Is Too Far, and The Headstrong Historian. Each has its own story and every ending is something to look forward to.

Each character holds a struggle internally and externally. Adichie reminds me that Africa is not a country, it is the second largest continent and comprised of different countries. That Africa is not just about poverty to which it is endlessly linked to. In fact, Lagos, Nigeria is a growing city and is considered the second growing city in all Africa. This book will open your mind to the vastness of African culture specifically in Nigeria. It changed my mind on how modern Nigerians also dream for USA soil just like Filipinos. They are no different from us.

Adichie weaves each story realistically that I though she was writing it based from first hand experience or from talking with people who has the same ordeal. It’s captivating and refreshing to know the Nigerian culture, government, and traditions. It also breaks the typical stereotyping faced by Africans in different countries. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested about Nigeria and Africa.It’s a must read.

I have read Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart last 2014 and I was dissatisfied with the ending. That book showed me a glimpse of African Literature. Just recently, I’ve read Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s collection of short stories and I was awed. It was so good that I yearned for more.

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