The Thing Around Your Neck
Publisher: Fourth Estate
These beautifully written short stories from former Orange Prize winner, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, feature a range of compelling characters whose personal experiences raise much wider issues and questions.
Themes of alienation, identity and love recur throughout the collection; in The Arrangers of Marriage we learn of Chinaza who leaves Nigeria for a bewildering new life in America with a husband she's barely met.
The American Embassy portrays a woman grieving for her murdered child and trying to make sense of a life and country in turmoil.
In the title story, Akunna's American visa does not bring the luxury her relatives back in Lagos predict, but loneliness does force her to look beneath the surface of her new home and question the nature of the acceptance she receives there.
This assured, insightful and often moving collection of stories will stay with the reader long after they have turned the last page.