Honestly, I feel like short stories are like the appetizer for a good meal. Think about it, Chimamanda’s The Thing Around Your Neck foreshadowed some of the themes in Americanah, which is a well crafter masterpiece (if you have not read my riveting review of Americanah, drop everything you are doing and read it before going on–click here for review)
Anyway, Lesley Nneka Arimah’s short story is one of those short stories. I honestly feel like any of the twelve stories she includes can be expanded into a novel on its own. Never have I felt a range of emotions, confusion, awe and amusement all through one book. Arimah’s book tackles questions of sexuality, womanhood, gender roles in Nigerian society as well as what seems like references to the rich folklore culture that many West African countries have. No two stories are the same. They all tackle very different things and showcase the versatility in her writing. The strength in her writing is her ability to easily move from a short story focusing on the relationship of two sisters to a story that has a futuristic air to it. Before I picked up this book, I was only strictly interested in realistic fictional stories, where the work of writing is fictional but dwells on conflicts and feelings that any person can feel in real life. I was not into science fiction or alternative reality books but I think Arimah may have changed my mind.
Here is a list of the stories and one liners I feel best describe the story
- The Future Looks Good— you have not read a cliffhanger until you read this story.
- War Stories— the complexities of dealing with grief
- Wild—Very emotional.
- Light— distance can strain any strong relationship
- Second Chances— the effect grief can have on one’s mental health
- Windfalls—419!!! (if you do not know what this is, I highly recommend you google it)
- Who Will Greet You At Home—the length at which some women go for children
- Buchi’s Girls—Family can be cruel
- Glory—An unlucky girl who may have gained some luck
- What It means When a Man Falls From the Sky—Africans are the smartest people in the world #facts
- What is A Volcano—blend of folklore and mythology
- Redemption—a girl making sense of her attraction to another girl.