PEOPLE OF COLOR ARE SLAYING THE SHORT-STORY AND ESSAY SCENE
In 2017, there’s been an explosion of short stories written by young writers of color. From teenagers growing up in Africa to a woman planning her wedding, here are our favorite collections published so far in 2017.
What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah
Complicated family dynamics are explored in Lesley Nneka Arimah’s stunning debut collection. The U.k.-born, Nigeria-raised writer published her critically acclaimed short stories in April 2017, complete with diverse narratives of the African diaspora. “Wild” explores the complexity of teenage rebellion, while the title piece is a science-fiction love story told from the perspective of a lesbian mathematician. This thoughtful collection will resonate with readers for years to come.
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
You may not know Samantha Irby’s name, but if you’re a frequent reader of comedy on the internet, you’ve probably come across her hilarious blog, bitches gotta eat. Since 2009, Irby has cracked us up with stories from her everyday life. Written with her signature humor, We Are Never Meeting In Real Life is an essay collection filled with tales about money management (or lack thereof), planning her wedding to her partner, scattering her late father’s ashes, and living in suburbia. Irby offers the perfect poolside read.
The Tower of the Antilles by Achy Obejas
The stories in Achy Obejas’s The Tower of the Antilles are all about survival. In just 10 narratives, she brilliantly transcribes the lives of Cubans that are seemingly haunted by the island. “The Sound Catalog” follows two lesbian lovers who flee the island to make a life for themselves in Chicago, while “Kimberle” is a tale of unrequited love in a community gripped by the fear of a serial killer. A native Cuban, Obejas is skilled in revealing the peaks and valleys of escaping and surviving Cuba. The Tower of the Antilles elegantly captures the beauty of the ordinary lives of Cubans across the world.