This essay argues that Lesley Nneka Arimah’s collection of short stories, What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky, evokes para-worlds that reveal and contend with the world and its norms. Examining the collection’s entwinement of magical, mythical, and animist modes with science, technology, and innovation, the essay shows how Arimah’s work creates its own metagenre, which functions as a paranormal frame that disrupts the common sense of existing interpretive frameworks of progress and difference. The paranormal in Arimah’s work is a space where the illegible significance of Blackness exists. These para-worlds, the essay contends, are paranormal because they function as parallel, ancillary, and barricading structures that reveal the spatial and temporal continuums that order the world. Viewing the norm as the world-constituting structures instantiated in 1492, the essay contends that Arimah’s para-world functions as a continuum to reveal the ever-present structures of violence.

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