Friday, September 8, 2017

We Are Born, by Dare Segun Falowo

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(Modern African Fantasy) Wura has miscarried three times, so she decides to make a child from clay and lightening. (4,273 words; Time: 14m)

Rating: ★★★☆☆ Average

"We Are Born," by (edited by C.C. Finlay), appeared in issue 09-10|17, published on by .

Mini-Review (click to view--possible spoilers)

Pro: The narrator considers herself human, and, at the end, she becomes human—complete with the power of speech.

The analogy with Pinocchio is hard to miss, but it’s superficial. Pinocchio was a bad boy from day 1 and only became a real boy once he’d suffered and earned it. The narrator is, by all accounts, a good girl.

Con: She's a good girl who does nothing to earn her transformation at the end. She’s a very passive protagonist.

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4 comments (may contain spoilers):

  1. I found this story's twist to be deeply powerful, but also very ambiguous. It confirms that the girl is what she's said to be -- a spirit who, by nature, will be born to her mother, and die, again and again. I'm not at all sure that the end of the story is a happy one -- as far as I can tell, it could well be just another link in the chain; another twist of the knife.

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    Replies
    1. The earlier births and the clay child were all daughters. The spirit mentions feeling "askew" in the clay body. Since the child born at the end is a boy, the spirit stays. The first sentence reflects this too:

      "Once, in a moment before this final birth, my mother molded me to life."

      I take "final birth" to mean the one at the end of the story. And indicating he won't be leaving this time.

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    2. That's an interesting angle. I definitely missed that on the first read.

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    3. Oooh. Greast points; thank you :D

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