Half of a Yellow Sun ) stays on familiar turf in her deflated first story collection. The tension between Nigerians and Nigerian-Americans, and the quest"/>
 

The Thing Around Your Neck

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Author
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Author . Knopf $24.95 (217p) ISBN 978-0-307-27107-5
Reviewed on: 04/06/2009
Release date: 06/01/2009
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Adichie (Half of a Yellow Sun ) stays on familiar turf in her deflated first story collection. The tension between Nigerians and Nigerian-Americans, and the question of what it means to be middle-class in each country, feeds most of these dozen stories. Best known are “Cell One,” and “The Headstrong Historian,” which have both appeared in the New Yorker and are the collection’s finest works. “Cell One,” in particular, about the appropriation of American ghetto culture by Nigerian university students, is both emotionally and intellectually fulfilling. Most of the other stories in this collection, while brimming with pathos and rich in character, are limited. The expansive canvas of the novel suits Adichie’s work best; here, she fixates mostly on romantic relationships. Each story’s observations illuminate once; read in succession, they take on a repetitive slice-of-life quality, where assimilation and gender roles become ready stand-ins for what could be more probing work. (June)

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