At the beginning of "A Private Experience," two Nigerian women, one Muslim, one Catholic, seek shelter together from a riot; the Muslim woman reaches up to the space around her throat where her necklace had been and says, "My necklace lost when I'm running." Later in the collection, a short story writer buys an ivory necklace, pleased with "the look of the white, tooth-shaped pendant against her throat," and takes pleasure in deliberately offending a smug, politically correct white woman by revealing that it is real ivory. And in the title story, a Nigerian expatriate in America describes how "at night, something would wrap itself around your neck, something that very nearly choked you before you fell asleep." In Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's meticulously detailed stories of Nigerians at home and abroad, national identity functions as both a pendant and a millstone, alternately blessing ...
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