My superlative-laden review for Lesley Nneka Arimah’s What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky will be posted on Tuesday, January 5. In the meantime, one story from that collection is available on The New Yorker website: Read “Who Will Greet You at Home” in the October 26, 2015 issue
The opening lines of “Who Will Greet You at Home” establish a layer of magical realism:
The yarn baby lasted a good month, emitting dry, cotton-soft gurgles and pooping little balls of lint, before Ogechi snagged its thigh on a nail and it unravelled as she continued walking, mistaking its little huffs for the beginnings of hunger, not the cries of an infant being undone. By the time she noticed, it was too late, the leg a tangle of fibre, and she pulled the string the rest of the way to end it, rather than have the infant grow up maimed. If she was to mother a child, to mute and subdue and fold away parts of herself, the child had to be perfect.