April 30, 2017

What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah | Book Review

What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky is a collection of twelve exceptional short stories by new author, Lesley Nneka Arimah. It begins with
The Future Looks Good, a tale spanning three generations of women, then continues with War Stories, Wild, Light, Second Chances, Windfalls, Who Will Greet You at Home, Buchi's Girls, What It Means When A Man Falls From the Sky, Glory, What Is a Volcano? and ends with Redemption, a tale about a young girl who's enamored with the new housemaid next door and unable to put into words the new feelings this arrival stirs in her. I loved every story in this impressive debut collection. Every. Single. Story.

The first time I read anything by Lesley was last year when I reviewed the Caine Prize for African Writing 2016 Anthology in which What It Means When A Man Falls From the Sky was shortlisted for the prestigious prize. In spite of that I still felt like I was coming to this collection without a good sense of Lesley and the directions she would/could go literarily. The Future Looks Good is a great opener. It's heartwarming from the beginning but in the last sentence Lesley thrusts a knife into my chest. I had to pause like...ohh gawd... Why would you string us along like that? Like everything would be alright? I was shocked, "hurt", impressed, and nervously excited about the rest of the collection. Again and again Lesley showed that she wasn't one for happy endings and I love that in any author that I read. Her tales cover love, heartbreak, grief, guilt, homosexuality etcetera. Windfalls was goood. Who Will Greet You at Home seems like the sort of tale you'd expect from Stephen King. I couldn't finish it in one sitting lol. My anxiety rose with each page I flipped especially because I had become aware of what Lesley could do. I love Who Will Greet You at Home a lot. Love it. Somehow What It Means When A Man Falls From the Sky felt like a brand new tale and that ending... No... (insert sad emoji). What Is a Volcano is brilliant, well written and so absorbing. I love it. I don't know if it's drawn from an actual folklore told by any of the various community of peoples Lesley's multicultural background has exposed her to but I really like it. Lesley's tales are unforgettable. Thank you Lesley. Thank you. You should read this. 


  1. Good to know you enjoyed this book. I wasn't really a fan of her shortlisted story last year, mostly because I'm not a sci-fi fan. But since this review looks very promising, I might get this book! Other readers on Goodreads gave it 5 stars as well. Good sign

  2. Awesome work.Just wanted to drop a comment and say I am new to your blog and really like what I am reading.Thanks for the share