Debut author Lesley Nneka Arimah shares 12 amazing short stories set in the US and Nigeria. Her fresh, wonderful, creative writing is packed with layers of complicated emotions and themes that will make you think. Recommended By Kim S., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A NATIONAL BOOK FOUNDATION “5 UNDER 35” HONOREE
WINNER OF THE 2017 KIRKUS PRIZE
Named a Best Book of 2017 by The Guardian, Thrillist, and Publisher’s Weekly
A dazzlingly accomplished debut collection explores the ties that bind parents and children, husbands and wives, lovers and friends to one another and to the places they call home.
In “Who Will Greet You at Home,” a National Magazine Award finalist for The New Yorker, a woman desperate for a child weaves one out of hair, with unsettling results. In “Wild,” a disastrous night out shifts a teenager and her Nigerian cousin onto uneasy common ground. In “The Future Looks Good,” three generations of women are haunted by the ghosts of war, while in “Light,” a father struggles to protect and empower the daughter he loves. And in the title story, in a world ravaged by flood and riven by class, experts have discovered how to “fix the equation of a person” — with rippling, unforeseen repercussions.
Evocative, playful, subversive, and incredibly human, What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky heralds the arrival of a prodigious talent with a remarkable career ahead of her.
“Arimah’s voice is vibrant and fresh, her topics equally timely and timeless...This is a slim, rare volume that left me compelled to press it into the hands of friends, saying, ‘You must read this.’” The Washington Post
“Arimah writes unsettling tales where science can save the world, but harm individuals that try to help, where political unrest and domestic abuse haunt women in circles, and where family can harm and help. We’ve been asking for dystopia and horror stories written by POC, and Arimah has delivered.” BookRiot
“[A] remarkable debut collection...Of all of Arimah’s considerable skills, this might be her greatest: She crafts stories that reward rereading, not because they’re unclear or confusing, but because it’s so tempting to revisit each exquisite sentence, each uniquely beautiful description...electrifying [and] defiantly original.” NPR
“Strange and wonderful...a witty, oblique and mischievous storyteller, Arimah can compress a family history into a few pages and invent utopian parables, magical tales and nightmare scenarios while moving deftly between comic distancing and insightful psychological realism...her science fiction parables, with their ecological and feminist concerns, recall those of Margaret Atwood. But it would be wrong not to hail Arimah’s exhilarating originality: She is conducting adventures in narrative on her own terms, keeping her streak of light, that bright ember, burning fiercely, undimmed.” New York Times Book Review
About the Author
Lesley Nneka Arimah was born in the UK and grew up wherever her father was stationed for work, which was sometimes Nigeria, sometimes not. Her work has received numerous grants and awards, including the 2015 African Commonwealth Prize and an O. Henry Award, and a story published in The New Yorker last year was a finalist for a National Magazine Award. She lives in Minneapolis.