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Search tags: Chimamanda-Ngozi-Adichie
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review 2017-11-29 23:44
The Thing Around Your Neck
The Thing Around Your Neck - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

There are a lot of reasons why these stories were each amazing and beautiful. For starters, they are #ownvoices, which in itself lends depth to them that is hard to come by from people not familiar with others experiences, but the stories are also varied in many other ways.

I remember first hearing about Adichie from her TEDtalk, the Danger of a Single Story, so I knew not to expect the stories to be similar to each other or to any idea that I had about Africa or African people. Each one is a different part of life for African people. I know that several stories were about Nigerians specifically, but not whether all were. I know Adichie is Nigerian (yes, I even looked up her Wikipedia page to double check), but I don't want to make either assumption that it means all her characters must be Nigerian nor that the experience of people from different countries within Africa are interchangeable. Instead, I'll just point out that I don't know. I do know that one story pointed out where secondary characters were from and the protagonist even refers to them by their country more than their name as they are all new to her.

Getting back to the way the stories were varied, some were immigration stories to the US and others took place in Africa, but even one of those could be loosely categorized as an immigration story because it is about a woman attempting to obtain refugee status to go to the US. It would be difficult to judge the stories against each other on a level of enjoyable as not all are happy or sad, but they all make the reader think about their ideas of how they treat people and how they are treated by people.

I was glad that I listened to the audiobook, read by Adjoa Andoh, because of the character names. Not only would I have mispronounced, but I would have missed out on the lyrical beauty of many of them. The many accents required to read through all the stories were masterfully done as one should expect from an actress of Andoh's accomplishments.

Altogether, it's an enlightening set of stories that should definitely be read by anyone interested in stories about the lives of women. This does not mean that it should be relegated to "chick lit", though. None of the stories are delivered in the "humorously and lightedhardly" style of what is often referred to as chick lit. These are serious stories about women's lives, the struggles, the many forms that heartbreak takes, the difficult decisions that must be contended with. While I wouldn't use the book alone to indicate what African or Nigerian culture is completely about (then we'd fall into the narrow view that Adichie herself cautions against), I would say that it paints an interesting picture of what it is like for some women.

So again, an excellent pick for anyone interested in women's stories, particularly those looking to expand their reading to include stories in more than one country, of moving between countries, of the way lives mix between people of different cultures in several ways. The collection on its own, it still expands the idea of what African stories are and takes us a beyond a single story.

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review 2017-11-27 05:17
Condensed Practical
Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Loved it. Because it was accessible, because it gave tools, because it's a manual to teach yourself too, and maybe help usher a better generation.

 

I kept pausing to think on the examples and appliances too. They throw quite the light into how askew some of internalized opinions are.

 

Very insightful. Shall revisit.

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review 2017-08-27 00:46
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
We Should All Be Feminists - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a well-known feminist and I've been meaning to pick up some of her work for a while now. And I thought what better place to start than reading her written version of a TEDx Talk she gave back in 2012 which you could see right here.

 

First, I decided to watch the talk before diving into the written version. The talk she gave is engaging and funny and intriguing to say the least. I highly recommend you watch it before reading this book. Because, although this has the same speech she gave during her talk in 2012, a lot of the humor is lost when the reader is not fully aware of the intonation Adichie is using whilst presenting her speech. However, that's not to say it's not enjoyable if you decide to pick up the book. The book includes a bit more detail than her speech did and it's worth picking up for that alone. All I'm saying is you should definitely watch the speech first and then read the book.

 

All in all, I recommend you consume this fantastic talk in any form you can get your hands on. It's a perfect introduction as to why feminism is valuable in our society and how we should all strive to be better as humans. I highly enjoyed this read and I hope you will as well.

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review 2017-07-01 22:23
[REVIEW] Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Loved this book. How wonderful it is, how educational and how enlightening to read something like this. It helped me realize my own shortcomings as a feminist and how I will hopefully overcome these things and improve.

It's definitely another must-read by Ms. Adichie.

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review 2017-06-23 17:22
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Americanah - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

She knew that the people who read her blog were not the same people who attended her diversity workshops. During her talks, she said: “America has made great progress for which we should be very proud.” In her blog she wrote: Racism should never have happened and so you don’t get a cookie for reducing it.

 

This quote is just one of the great insights into race relations that the protagonist, Ifemelu, posted on her blog, written primarily for the non-American black, which she herself is, having come to the US from Nigeria.

 

The novel begins with Ifemelu thinking about her blog when on the way to a hair appointment. I mention the hair appointment because hair is a theme that runs throughout the narrative. It’s a metaphor for the life of a black immigrant in America and a surprisingly good one. It highlighted the lengths that are sometimes necessary for people to go to to fit in and be accepted.

 

At its core this novel is a love story, although not a typical one. The narrative moves back and forward through time describing Ifemelu’s adolescence in Nigeria and her developing relationship with Obinze, a boy she meets locally. Her family, friends and other’s occupy more than just a guest spot. They’re expertly described and add to this rich narrative.

 

This novel isn’t just a story about Ifemeu but also charts the early life of Obinze, her soon-to-be boyfriend. Granted, there are more chapters from the POV of Ifemelu, but we get a fair amount told by Obinze, which brought authenticity and objectiveness to the novel.

 

For me this book was as close to perfect as it’s possible to get in a novel. The prose flowed in a way that made it a joy to read and the characters were written with such expertise that regardless of fault I fell in love with them.

 

I plan to read everything I can get my hands on from this author and highly recommend that you do the same.

 

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