Here at Reading Passport, we were lucky enough to receive an early review copy of Irenosen Okojie’s brand new short story collection, Speak Gigantular. For me, this collection couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. Thematically exploring ‘the City’, each of these stories present the reader with a state of confusion of some kind and with resultant ‘creatures’ of the city – something which resonates in many ways which the current social climate.
The characters within these stories have all been made ‘creatures’ of their circumstances – take Henri from ‘Animal Parts’, who has no control over who he is until, victimised and alone, he decides to take action – and the stories see them coming to terms with that or rebelling against it. Each story featured is original, dark and with a witty but dark humour which disturbs and forces the reader to draw in to question exactly what a social norm is.
This collection is delivered with an unmistakably influential voice and drive and brings new modes of thinking in concise commute-friendly stories whose ideas continue to grow in the mind long after reading. This collection has certainly changed the way I will think about and read and write short stories, this is fiction at its best, enacting change, driving the reader to act and it is spectacular, Irenosen Okojie certainly Speaks Gigantular here.
Speak Gigantular was published by Jacaranda Books Art Music in September 2016.