The story is enough.

The story is enough.

Monday, October 19, 2015

"Who Will Greet You at Home" - Lesley Nneka Arimah

This story can be read in the October 26, 2015 issue of The New Yorker.

This review can also be found at The Mookse and the Gripes.

First Line: "The yarn baby lasted a good month, emitting fry, cotton-soft gurgles and pooping little balls of lint, before Ogechi snagged its thigh on a nail and it unravelled as she continued walking, mistaking it little huffs for the beginning of hunger, not the cries of an infant being undone."

Last Line: "In the morning, she would fetch leaves to protect it from the rain."

While the language of this story is lyrical - the opening paragraph is quite beautiful - this genre is not something I enjoy.  I love the traditional Grimm's fairy tales, but I do not enjoy newly created parables or fables (think Dan Miller or Paul Coehlo). They feel forced and what I enjoy about fiction is the ease with which reality is addressed- even if in a hyperbolic way.

Maybe I am still reeling from the wonders of last week's story (Ben Marcus's "Cold Little Bird"), and the intriguing examination of fatherhood.  Maybe.  But this mythological invention of motherhood has less for me to link with, less to embrace.  And because it is not a "common" folk tale, it did not take root in prior memories or schemas.

This story is vaguely reminiscent of "The Snow Child" - but less beautiful, more harsh and unyielding.  Universal themes and ideas are addressed.

Even still, the writing is delightful.  It is animated and I can see the story unfolding in my mind's eye. The sensations for the reader of scene and character were well done.

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