Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Watchlist Countdown, Day 17: “Prof.” by Chika Unigwe

     When the cell phone tower suddenly materialized opposite our street, I told anyone who would listen that it was an interceptor, set up to connect to phones by mimicking cell phone towers and sucking up data but nobody would believe me.

       from “Prof.” by Chika Unigwe

“Prof.,” Chika Unigwe’s short story in the Watchlist anthology, is a good example of how, in the right hands, the unreliability of a narrator can creep up on us in a way that’s subtle as a hum we thought we heard but weren’t sure until all the other noises in the room had faded away. Chika Unigwe was born in Nigeria and her novels include On Black Sisters Street and Night Dancer. “Prof.” was my first encounter with her work but it certainly won’t be my last.

Watchlist: 32 Short Stories by Persons of Interest, edited by Bryan Hurt, will be published by O/R Books on May 21.  The “persons of interest” contributing short stories to the anthology include Etgar Keret, Robert Coover, Aimee Bender, Jim Shepard, Alissa Nutting, Charles Yu, Cory Doctorow, David Abrams, Randa Jarrar, Katherine Karlin, Miracle Jones, Mark Irwin, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Dale Peck, Bonnie Nadzam, Lucy Corin, Chika Unigwe, Paul Di Filippo, Lincoln Michel, Dana Johnson, Mark Chiusano, Juan Pablo Villalobos, Chanelle Benz, Sean Bernard, Kelly Luce, Zhang Ran, Miles Klee, Carmen Maria Machado, Steven Hayward, Deji Bryce Olukotun, Alexis Landau and Bryan Hurt.

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