BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah [in Library Journal]

Arimah’s debut collection comprises a dozen surprising, affecting stories. Narrator Adjoa Andoh sublimely intensifies the author’s already breathtaking prose into an irresistible, spectacular performance, as she effortlessly modulates her distinctive voice, picking up genders and generations, cadences and accents, and just as easily discards such details for the next scene, the next story.

Andoh is both innocent and knowing in “Wild,” about two teenage cousins – one American, the other Nigerian – forced to spend a summer together. She grows determined in “Light,” about a family splintered by opportunity and distance. She growls through “Who Will Greet You at Home,” about motherless women making phantom babies. She navigates both desperation and entitlement in “What Is a Volcano” between feuding, less-than-equal gods. Resignation drives “Windfalls,” about an untethered mother and daughter trying to survive. Detachment goes awry in the titular story as a mathematician attempts to alchemize humanity into numbers.

Verdict: Libraries with patrons especially partial to magnificent, international discoveries will want to provide Sky in multiple formats.

Review: “Audio,” Library Journal, November 15, 2017

Readers: Adult

Published: 2017


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