Discussion Notes: Who Will Greet You at Home
Find this week’s story here: Who Will Greet You at Home by Lesley Nneka Arimah
Next week’s story: And of Clay Are We Created by Isabel Allende
The four Literary Roadhouse hosts discuss the Caine Prize for African Writing runner up “Who Will Greet You at Home” by Nigerian writer Lesley Nneka Arimah. This story polarized our hosts sharply and along gender lines. On the ladies’ side, Maya and Anais had nothing by love and admiration for this sharp portrayal of motherhood, in particular the cycle of longing and shame. The boys weren’t moved by the theme, in large part because of magical realist elements that made the context feel alien. Our hosts debate whether or not gender plays a role in the understanding of this story. What do you think? We’re curious to know if men and women receive this story very differently.
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2 comments on Who Will Greet You at Home | Lesley Nneka Arimah | Literary Roadhouse Ep 120
A man here and I loved the story. I read the opening paragraph or two not intending to read further because I had something else I wanted to do first. The next thing I knew I had finished the story. The voice carried me through and I enjoyed every moment of the experience of reading.
I read the whole story as being about the sacrifices women make to raise children.I don’t expect to ever be pregnant myself, but I’ve certain known women who have given birth and raised children and I could easily picture women I’ve known saying some of the things said or thought in the story.
I don’t seek out stories of magical realism, but I have no problem with them either. I did read the first paragraph a few times to make sure I read what I thought I read, but once I grasped the magical realism in the story I was carried along by the voice of the narrator.
Would you believe that it never occurred to me that there were no men in the story until I listed to the podcast? I was so focused on who was in the story and what was happening that I never gave a thought to who wasn’t in the story.
Sorry to cross the gender divide, but at least one man enjoyed the story.
Hah! I am glad you’ve bust through the gender divide. The story is genius.