‘Why is Pepe Canary Yellow?’ by Irenosen Okojie

Okojie’s brilliant and bold writing (which I have just discovered) is a cocktail of dark and comic surrealism stirred with prosaic human tragedy, and a pinch of London. Think of: foot fetishes, a boy who grows a tail, a story about Asda and electric brains.  Okojie’s words light the sky with resistance, resilience and ambiguity. These are tales that explode at the end of our firework show, igniting a questioning sky. To finish this anthology on a cheerful note, or at least with a light display celebrating humanity, read the story, ‘Why is Pepe Canary Yellow?’  about the infamous bank-robber dressed as a chicken, who listens to customers, and leaves behind recipes for coconut cakes, because “If the intentions are good, certain things are forgivable.”

From Speak Gigantular, Jacaranda, 2016

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