The Thing Around Your Neck is a book of short stories by the incredible Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This woman is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. Her style of writing is beautiful, raw, and powerful.
These stories are themed mostly around Nigerian women's exploration of their own reality, whether that be as an American immigrant, a modern day Nigerian women, or as a mother in pre-colonial Africa. Chimamanda develops her characters in a strong and seamless fashion. I highly recommend reading anything by her. If short stories aren't for you, then try reading her novel Americanah, it was one of the best books I read in 2015.
"'Is it a good life, Daddy?' Nkiru has taken to asking lately on the phone, with that faint, vaguely troubling American accent. 'It is not good or bad, I tell her, it is simply mine. And that is what matters.'”
“It is one of the things she has come to love about America, the abundance of unreasonable hope.”
“You wanted to feel disdain, to show it as you brought his order, because white people who liked Africa too much and those who liked Africa too little were the same—condescending.”
"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 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."
"How can you love somebody and yet want to manage the amount of happiness that person is allowed?"