Thursday, March 30, 2017
What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky
The current talk of the town in the book world is Nigerian born writer, Lesley Nneka Arimah's What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories.
Named one of the most anticipated books of 2017 by Buzzfeed, Time Magazine, Elle, the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe, the Millions, Nylon, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and Electric Literature
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 beautifully written stories...speak to what makes us human and how we define home, and coalesce into a remarkable collection.” –Buzzfeed
“Brilliant...Each of the stories will pull at your heartstrings as they portray the most complicated of human relationships.” –Redbook
“Completely captivating…Arimah explores the depth of the human experience through eccentric protagonists, unexpected plots, and exceptional storytelling. It’s a global perspective of what Blackness looks like and how the experience of Black women is inherently alike, whether you’re in Nigeria or Chicago.” –Ebony
“Inventive and wildly playful." --The Boston Globe
"I rarely find fiction so captivating, short stories so beyond impressive.” --Jezebel
"Imaginative and mesmerizing …the women in this collection exist in an unpredictable, often dangerous world, one that is both markedly different from, yet startlingly similar to our own.” --Bustle
"Seamlessly blends magical realism and a kind of sci-fi, resulting in a one-of-a-kind...Brilliant." --The Millions
"[Arimah] turned some folks' worlds upside down...I can't wait to devour this." --Black Nerd Problems
“Ever since reading Arimah’s unsettling New Yorker fiction story, in which a woman longing for a child decides to make one out of hair, I’ve been eagerly awaiting more of her work. Happily, this collection is finally here, and includes that incredible story and many others that are its equals.” –Nylon
“Sharp and surprising, fantastic and dark, human and heartbreaking...a must-add to your short fiction list …I loved every minute of reading this book.” –Julie Wernersbach, Director of the Texas Book Festival
“A slender yet mighty short story collection that delivers one head-snapping wallop after another…Arimah’s emotional and cultural precision and authenticity undergird her most imaginative leaps. She flirts with horror fiction, presents a ghost story, and creates an arresting form of magic realism in sync with that of Shirley Jackson, George Saunders, and Colson Whitehead…stingingly fresh and complexly affecting.” –Booklist (starred)
"A powerful and incisive debut . . . Arimah gracefully inserts moments of levity into each tale and creates complex characters who are easy to both admire and despise . . . this collection electrifies.” --Publisher's Weekly (starred)
"Arimah has skill in abundance: the stories here are solid and impeccably crafted and strike at the heart of the most complicated of human relationships. Against a backdrop of grief for dead parents or angst over a lover, Arimah uses Nigeria as her muse...join[ing] everything from fabulism to folk tale...while also managing to create a wholly cohesive and original collection. Heralds a new voice with certain staying power." --Kirkus (starred)
“With her luminous debut collection, Lesley Nneka Arimah marks her richly deserved place in contemporary fiction. At the center of each impeccably written story, Arimah offers up a new kind of yearning--for love, for peace, for comfort, for home. Never have needful things been so gorgeously displayed.”
--Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist and Difficult Women
“How does she make these stories so distilled and spacious at the same time? They are drained of excess but still expand so fearlessly. A remarkable debut, from a writer I’m sure we’ll be reading for years to come.”
–Aimee Bender, author of The Color Master and The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
"A striking collection that will make the hair on the back of your neck stand at attention and your heart gasp in admiration. Arimah’s stories are intense, mesmeric, and nothing short of stunning."
--Claire Vaye Watkins, author of Battleborn and Gold Fame Citrus
“Without question, one of the finest story collections I’ve read in years. Arimah excels at capturing the kinetic ache of dislocation, of dwelling in the mysterious territory that divides places and selves and generations. Wondrous.”
--Laura van den Berg, author of Find Me and The Isle of Youth
“In these gorgeous stories, Arimah dreams a world. These tales cut like razors, charm like poetry, and heal like love. International in scope, but deeply personal, What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky marks the arrival of a stunning new voice.”
-- Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow
"What it Means When a Man Falls from the Sky is an exciting and audacious collection. At turns otherworldly and heartbreakingly familiar, these stories represent all that we could ever want from short fiction. The humor is wicked and the heart big, beautiful, and full of want."
--Diane Cook, author of Man V. Nature
"Lesley Nneka Arimah's debut will be making a hell of a lot of noise. Writing this good just can't stay quiet. What It Means When a Man Fall from the Sky is your introduction to one of the best and brightest new writers around."
-Victor LaValle, author of Big Machine and The Changeling.
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.