The 'Flawless' Feminist: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Feminist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is very popular right now. After audio from her Ted Talk appeared in Beyoncé’s Flawless single the acclaimed author became world known. Chimamanda’s book Half of a Yellow Sun was made into a movie starring Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) and Thandie Newton, and soon her book Americanah will also be heading to the big screen starring David Oyelowo (Selma) and Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave). Needless to say Chimamanda’s work is popular and the momentum is nowhere near a stop.

On my ever growing ‘to-read’ list were several of Chimamanda’s books. And with her increasing popularity and the current social discussions surrounding feminism, race, and culture I decided to finally read one.

That Thing Around Your Neck is a simple compilation of stories, some of which were previously published in journals or other publications. She offers tales centered on her home country, Nigeria, that vary from fantasy, love, immigration, death, birth and  even colonization. Also entwined with many of the stories is the topic of immigration and transitioning to the “American Dream” living in the US. As we become global citizens the timing of Chimamanda’s stories is perfect. Also, Chimamanda gives lay readers a glimpse into Nigerian culture and a bit of its history. There is no topic considered taboo and it’s refreshing to see. One of the great aspects of the book is the reader sees lots of diversity in the stories being told, which allows you to see how Chimamanda writes and multiple character perspectives.

If you are short on time, get this book. The short stories allow you to easily start and stop reading when you have time, without sacrificing quality story telling. The characters are developed and you become invested in their stories, even in the short read. I am definitely looking forward to reading more of Chimamanda’s work in the future.  

Check out Chimamanda's now infamous Ted Talk: We Should All Be Feminists