The Thing Around Your Neck

Instead of researching the politics of Botswana for my honors thesis like I should have been doing, much of my Friday was spent with an excellent book of short stories by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Her award-winning book, Half of a Yellow Sun has been on my reading list for some time, but I haven’t actually read anything by her until now. I was not disappointed.

She had come to understand that American parenting was a juggling of anxieties, and that it came with having too much food: a sated belly gave Americans time to worry that their child might have a rare disease that they had just read about, made them think that they had the right to protect their child from disappointment and want and failure. A sated belly gave Americans the luxury of praising themselves for being good parents, as if caring for one’s child were the exception rather than the rule.

I identify strongly with the tensions between Africa and America, tradition and modern concerns, and happiness and duty. Definitely recommended.

Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. The Thing around Your Neck. Alfred A. Knopf, 2009.

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