The Thing Around Your Neck


The Thing Around Your Neck
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Published June 16, 2009
240 pages

Last September, I wrote an ode to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (you can read it here). Since I wrote that post, Adichie has given me more reasons to love her. Just a few weeks back, she was Wellesley’s commencement speaker. Her speech was about “gender and justice” (“Class of 2015, please go out there and make feminism a raucous, inclusive party.”) with little tidbits of advice thrown in for good measure (“Please do not twist yourselves into shapes to please.”). It’s short (about 20 minutes) and worth watching in its entirety: Continue reading

When I Grow Up, I Want to Be Like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Unknown Americanah
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Published May 14, 2013
589 pages (Kindle e-book)

A couple weeks ago, at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards, Beyoncé performed an epic sixteen-minute medley. If you missed it, you can watch it in its entirety here. Shortly after the ten-minute mark, words began to flash on massive screens behind her. You hear a commanding, accented voiceover: “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller . . .” Bey’s silhouette dramatically appears in front of these words, and the medley morphs into Bey’s aggressive anthem “***Flawless.”

If you’re not familiar with “***Flawless,” here is the video:

At 1:25, you can hear that same commanding voice. She says: Continue reading