A stunning collection of short stories from Caine-Prize shortlisted and Commonwealth Writer's Prize winner Lesley Nneka Arimah, WHAT IT MEANS WHEN A MAN FALLS FROM THE SKY is a debut with all the imagination of Helen Oyeyemi's The Icarus Girl and the toughness of Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels. 'When Enebeli Okwara sent his girl out in the world, he did not know what the world did to daughters'. The daughters, wives and mothers in Lesley Nneka Arimah's remarkable debut collection find themselves in extraordinary situations: a woman whose mother's ghost appears to have stepped out of a family snapshot, another who, exhausted by childlessness, resorts to fashioning a charmed infant out of human hair, a 'grief worker' with a miraculous ability to remove emotional pain - at a price. What unites them is the toughness of the world they inhabit, a world where the future is uncertain, opportunities are scant, and fortunes change quicker than the flick of a switch. Characterised by their vividness, immediacy and the author's seemingly endless ability to conjure worlds at once familiar and unsettlingly different, this collection showcases the work of an extraordinarily talented writer at the start of a brilliant career.

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7.8

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All Reviews

Critic Reviews (24)

7.8
Weighted Avg. Adjusted by the addition of a statistical value.
Critic Score Distribution
Highest score:
Lowest score:
Average score:
10.0
6.0
8.7
  1. Positive: 23 Out of 24
  1. Mixed: 1 Out of 24
  1. Negative: 0 Out of 24
Critical Consensus: Generally favorable.
1

Bookcritics

01 Nov 2017
8.0
"Every story in Arimah’s debut collection stories manage the difficult task of being both complex and inviting. Part of the appeal is also the gorgeous sentences Arimah constructs." ...
1

The Guardian

02 Sep 2017
8.0
"Arimah keeps her readers on their toes, and the disorientation can come with great rewards. While at times her use of narrative or rhetorical devices brings a degree of self-consciousness to the page, it also brings energy, momentum and humour." ...
1

Ploughshares

31 Aug 2017
9.0
"In Lesley Nneka Arimah’s new short story collection What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky, masculinity acts neither as a foil for comparison nor as a standard for female characters’ strength. Instead, Arimah explores new ways to think abou ...
2

Chronic Bibliophilia 06 Aug 2017

8.0
"Arimah’s stories are tied together by sense of longing, of seeking. Whether they are seeking a home or seeking solace, the characters who inhabit her stories nourish a sense of hope in the face of hardship and tragedy." ...
2

Shiny New Books

28 Aug 2017
8.0
"The tone is nicely balanced between playful and melancholy, and the variety in narration and setup keeps things interesting, such that you’ll likely sit down and read several stories at a time." ...
1

Wilde On My Side

26 Aug 2017
8.0
"Relationships are a key feature, with mothers and daughters cropping up frequently, along with culture clashes between the USA and Nigeria that reminded me of the imperious Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie" ...

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SIMILAR Books

Published:

August 24, 2017 (First published April 4, 2017 by Riverhead Books)

Publisher:

Tinder Press

ISBN:

978-0-735-21102-5

Language:

English

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