|Courtesty of Fourth Estate
On the day a plane crashed in Nigeria, the same day the Nigerian first lady died, somebody knocked loudly on Ukamaka’s door in Princeton. The knock surprised her because nobody ever came to her door unannounced – this after all was America, where people called before they visited – except for the FedEx man, who never knocked that loudly; and it made her jumpy because since morning she had been on the Internet reading Nigerian news, refreshing pages too often, calling her parents and her friends in Nigeria, making cup after cup of Earl Grey that she allowed to get cold. She had minimized early pictures from the crash site. Each time she looked at them, she brightened her laptop screen, peering at what the news articles called “wreckage,” a blackened hulk with whitish bits scattered all about it like torn paper, an indifferent lump of char that had once been a plane filled with people – people who buckled their seat belts and prayed, people who unfolded newspapers, people who waited for the flight attendant to roll down a cart and ask, “Sandwich or cake?” One of those people might have been her ex-boyfriend Udenna.
The Thing Around Your Neck
is a stunning collection of 12 short stories by Nigerian-born award-winning author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.