Debut author Lesley Nneka Arimah in residence with Aspen Words

Staff report
Lesley Nneka Arimah's debut story collection, "What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky," is due out in April. The author is in residence with Aspen Words this month and will give a free reading at Hooch Cocktail Bar on Oct. 18.
Courtesy photo |

Aspen Words will close out its 2016 Writers in Residence program with Lesley Nneka Arimah, a powerful new voice in fiction.

Her monthlong stay at the Catto Shaw ranch in Woody Creek will provide focused writing time on a new novel before Arimah embarks on a book tour to promote her debut short story collection, “What It Means When a Man Falls From the Sky,” forthcoming in April from Riverhead Books.

She will read from the collection and discuss her writing process at a free community event at Hooch Craft Cocktail Bar on Oct. 18 at 5:30 p.m.

Arimah emigrated from Nigeria to Louisiana at 13, and currently lives in Minneapolis. Her stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, GRANTA and other publications. She is a recipient of a Commonwealth Short Story Prize and her work has received support from the Elizabeth George Foundation, the Association of Writers & Writing Programs and other organizations.

The 12 stories in her debut collection explore how family, lovers and friends navigate displacement, clashing cultures and conflicting desires. Many of the stories embrace elements of magical realism, which also plays a role in her novel-in-progress.

“My new project is a novel of magical realism titled “The Children of Bones”. It centers on the question of who gets to claim an inheritance,” Armah said.

Arimah is the sixth and final Writer in Residence for 2016.

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