This book is a collection of twelve stories written by the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Most of these stories have been published before, some under another title, one has even been published twice before finding itself in this collection.
Let me state first that I have enjoyed these stories very much. They have been written in a very readable style that kept me reading. These stories can be grouped into two circles that make close connections. One circle is the world of Nigeria (to be more specific: the wold of Igbo). The other circle is the world of the United States of America (USA). Often the protagonists live in both circles or want to leave one circle to live in the other one. In this way these stories tell of a world of changes, going from one set of values to another set of values. Being in the USA is not the wished for paradise. It is a life of truths hidden from those living in Igbo land, of that thing around your neck (homesickness), of failed dreams and hopes, of living at the bottom of society in that newly found country. It is being torn apart by two loves. The love for one’s own culture, rooted in the world of ancestors, is not being surrendered.
In her stories Chimamanda does not give me as a reader easy solutions, or happy endings, or sad endings. The roads that leads to the end of the stories is an open road. Your imagination takes you on a further journey, beyond the pages of this book.
The protagonists look for their own strength in discovering the world, their own world and the new world that waits at the other side of the border (real or imagined).
I have looked for a favourite story, but I cannot single out one story, to the detriment of others. Each story has its strong points to ponder and consider. Do you have a favourite story in this collection? Just let me know!
I can recommend this collection of beautiful stories.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – The thing around your neck – 2009