Ever since I first read—and loved—this story, I have googled it at random moments just so I can be struck by the first line: The yarn baby lasted a good month, emitting dry, 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 its little huffs for the beginnings of hunger, not the cries of an infant being undone.What an opening, and what a world.
Nneka Arimah’s assurance with fantasy is frankly just delightful to witness, and part of that delight is at the sheer grace and ambition of the story in its centering of radical reproductive futures, storytelling-as-prophecy, and hair. Hair! I continue to marvel at the compactness and elegance of the story.
First published in The New Yorker, October 26, 2015. Collected in What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky, Tinder Press, 2017. Read it online here