On Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7pm, Lesley Nneka Arimah will visit Speakers Corner at Falvey Memorial Library. Arimah, who spent parts of her early life in Nigeria and the United Kingdom, is an up-and-coming short story writer. A contributor to Harper’s and The New Yorker, Arimah has just published her first short story collection titled What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky.
What It Means… covers important topics confronting women in the 21st century – from stigma surrounding depression to expectations on social media to complications in love and marriage. The library has a few other resources you might explore to prepare for Arimah’s event Thursday evening:
A heart-wrenching short story about the difference between slaughter and sacrifice, this one will undoubtedly bring several tears to your eyes. It recounts the harrows of Buchi’s destitute Nigerian motherhood. As family tensions rise, the charming yet emaciated chicken named Kano spurns this story toward an emotional and powerful yet profoundly sad ending.
A curiously named young woman confronts the expectations of her parents, and of herself, in this short story. She meets the perfect man who makes her consider a less-than-ideal living situation. Showing off Arimah as one of the best sentimentalist writers of her generation and covering such hot topics as social media and suicide, “GLORY” will have you pondering why it might be better to trick the gods sometimes than to please them.
If these tastes of Arimah’s storytelling haven’t fully convinced you to check out What It Means…, then take a look at these reviews, which we also have available through our databases. This one from Publisher’s Weekly explains, “Arimah gracefully inserts moments of levity into each tale and creates complex characters who are easy to both admire and despise.” Another, from Book World, claims, “Arimah’s voice is vibrant and fresh, her topics equally timely and timeless.”
Article by William Repetto, a graduate assistant in the Communication and Marketing Dept. at the Falvey Memorial Library. He is currently pursuing an MA in English at Villanova University.