the Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2009)
Twelve short stories, set in Nigeria and New York portrait contemporary Nigerian women, men and their struggles, whether it is because of their spouses (arranged marriages or not), troublesome brothers, religion, same-sex attractions or war."At night, something would wrap itself around your neck, something that very nearly choked you before you fell asleep."
How can you say so much with so few words? I loved every story, but some stood out more than the others. Imitation is set in USA where a Nigerian housewife is living with her children while the husband works in Nigeria and only spends two months a year with his family. One day she gets a phone call from her best friend who says that her husband has a girlfriend living in their house in Lagos. What would you do in a situation like that?
In A Private Experience, a Christian woman and a Muslim woman have found shelter in an abandoned store during a violent mob destroys the market place where they both went with their relatives. And they have to trust each other despite the fact that the uprising is about religion.
I think this collection of novels is my favourite book by Adichie, having read Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun last year.
""Is it a good life, Daddy? Nkiru has taken to asking lately on the phone, with that faint, vaguely trembling American accent. It is not good or bad, I tell her. It is simply mine. And that is what matters."