“Who are we, if we do not put our feet into the waters?”

In Winfred Kiunga‘s beautifully observed, well-paced story “She Dug Two Graves,” Somali refugee Fawzia seeks revenge for the death of her brother at the hands of corrupt Kenyan police officials. At one point, she receives an email from her friend, Marian, also a refugee but now resettled in Toronto, encouraging her to leave her place:

“Who are we, if we do not put our feet into the waters? How will we discover new lands, new frontiers, if we grow afraid of the waves? I dare you to find joy in the unknown.”

Kiunga’s story — which Publishers Weekly calls “memorably grim” (which I’d say is reductive but also not false) — features in the collection Nairobi Noir, edited by Peter Kimani.

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