"Who Will Greet You At Home" (Lesley Nneka Arimah)

"Ogechi woke in the middle of the night with the hair child standing over her. It should not have been able to stand, let alone haul itself onto her bed. Nor should it have been able to fist her hair in a grip so tight her scalp puckered or stuff an appendage into her mouth to block her scream..."

"Ogechi woke in the middle of the night with the hair child standing over her. It should not have been able to stand, let alone haul itself onto her bed. Nor should it have been able to fist her hair in a grip so tight her scalp puckered or stuff an appendage into her mouth to block her scream..."

Nigeria / 2015

"Who Will Greet You At Home" was shortlisted for this year's Caine Prize for African Writing. The Caine Prize is a literature prize awarded to an African writer of a short story published in English. 2017's five nominees were named on May 16th. The winner will be announced on July 3rd. Lesley Nneka Arimah is the Nigerian author of What It Means When A Man Falls from the Sky—a short story collection that I devoured and loved. She was also shortlisted for the Caine Prize last year. This dark story is about a lonely Nigerian girl named Ogechi who makes a baby doll out of human hair—a doll which comes to life. It's creepy, intricate and heartbreaking. Her obsession with owning a doll reminds me of Pecola in Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. You can read this story in full on The New Yorker's website. It also appears in her book.