Conversation: Chimamanda Adichie, Author of ‘The Thing Around Your Neck’

BY Arts Desk  July 9, 2009 at 5:02 PM EST

'The Thing Around Your Neck', Random House, 2009In her new short story collection, “The Thing Around Your Neck,” Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie moves back and forth between two continents the way she has in real life. Adichie depicts contemporary middle class Nigeria, as well as the lives of Nigerian women newly arrived in the United States — wives, girlfriends of Americans, au pairs — adjusting to a new country.

Political as well as personal, Adichie’s prose is straightforward, and unapologetically powerful. Author of “Purple Hibiscus,” Adichie’s most recent novel “Half of a Yellow Sun” (about the Biafran War) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She spoke with me by phone last Friday.