Quotes from The Thing Around Your Neck

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie ·  218 pages

Rating: (17K votes)


“She could not complain about not having shoes when the person she was talking to had no legs.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“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.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“It is one of the things she has come to love about America, the abundance of unreasonable hope.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“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.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“The trick was to understand America, to know that America was give-and-take. You gave up a lot but you gained a lot, too.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck



“They will always be doomed to supermarkets like this.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“She had come to understand that 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 that 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.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“It is our diffidence about the afterlife that leads us to religion”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“She imagines the cocoa brown of Nnedi's eyes lighting up, her lips moving quickly, explaining that riots do not happen in a vacuum, that religion and ethnicity are often politicized because the ruler is safe if the hungry ruled are killing one another.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“How can a person claim to love you and yet want you to do things that suit only them? Udenna was like that.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck



“Ujunwa thought she might like her, but only the way she liked alcohol—in small amounts.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“Nnamabia seemed fine to me, slipping his money into his anus and all.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“Ikenna, I have come to realize, is a man who carries with him the weight of what could have been.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“He told you that the company he worked for had offered him a few thousand more than the average salary plus stock options because they were desperately trying to look diverse.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“How can you love somebody and yet want to manage the amount of happiness that person is allowed?”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck



“You knew you had become comfortable when you told him that you watched Jeopardy on the restaurant TV and that you rooted for the following, in this order: women of color, black men, and white women, before, finally, white men—which meant you never rooted for white men.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“She wanted to interrupt and tell him how unnecessary it was, this bloodying and binding, this turning faith into a pugilistic exercise; to tell him that life was a struggle with ourselves more than with a spear-wielding Satan; that belief was a choice for our conscience always to be sharpened.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“Life was a struggle with ourselves more than with a spear-wielding Satan; that belief was a choice for our conscience always to be sharpened.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“He said "see" as if it meant something more than what one did with one's eyes.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“Something about the way Chinedu said his name, Abidemi, made her think of gently pressing on a sore muscle, the kind of self-inflicted ache that is satisfying.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck



“She cries quietly, her shoulders heaving up and down, not the kind of loud sobbing that the women Chika knows do, the kind that screams Hold me and comfort me because I cannot deal with this alone. The woman's crying is private, as though she is carrying out a necessary ritual that involves no one else.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“a clear link between education and dignity, between the hard, obvious things that are printed in books and the soft, subtle things that lodge themselves into the soul.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“echi eteka, «Mañana está demasiado lejos». Un mordisco, dijo, y en diez minutos se ha acabado todo.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“Of course they nurse resentment, as they well should, but it has somehow managed to leave their spirits whole.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“What does it mean to know? Really? Is it knowing-her refusal to think concretely about other women? Her refusal to ever consider the possibility?”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck



“A sated belly gave Americans the luxury of praising themselves for being good parents, as if caring for one's child was the exception rather than the rule.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“There were emotions she wanted to hold in the palm of her hand that were simply no longer there.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“Some people can take up too much space by simply being, that by existing, some people can stifle others.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“The Tanzanian told her that all fiction was therapy, some sort of therapy, no matter what anybody said.”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck


“But why do we say nothing?" Ujunwa asked. She raised her voice and looked at the others. "Why do we always say nothing?”
― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, quote from The Thing Around Your Neck



About the author

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Born place: in Enugu, Nigeria
Born date September 15, 1977
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