PEO­PLE OF COLOR ARE SLAY­ING THE SHORT-STORY AND ES­SAY SCENE

Bitch: A Feminist Response to Pop Culture - - BOOK REVIEWS - —veron­ica hilbring

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.

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