The first time I laid eyes on Lesley Nneka Arimah’s collection of short stories, What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky, I was at the Strand, and I was trying very hard not to buy any new books. Reading over the back cover –– a child fashioned out of hair, a world seemingly saved by a mathematical equation, an American teenager’s night out with her Nigerian cousin –– I almost failed in my mission. With my phone, I snapped a picture of the front cover, and I moved on.
Two weeks later, I learned What it Means had been chosen as the common read for FIT’s incoming first-year students. The moment copies appeared in our office, I grabbed mine and set to work reading it. Eight pages in, I was devastated. (Spoiler alert: The devastation did not stop there.)