Reading Questions for Say You're One of Them
11. Akpan addressed his other vocation in an interview, saying, "A key Vatican II document makes it very clear that the joys and anguish of the world are the joys and anguish of the Church." While reading these stories, were you ever reminded that this writer is also a Jesuit priest?
12. Does Akpan's subject matter seem to you to be imbued with religious values? In what ways?
13. Do the drama and power of the Akpan's fiction call forth any biblical stories for you? If so, which ones?
14. Some of the children in Say You're One of Them are not poor. What are the particular obstacles these children face that are not issues in your own country?
15. Are there challenges in the stories other than poverty with which you can identify?
16. Do the family dynamics between any of the characters feel familiar to you? What are the similarities and the differences?
17. The poet and memoirist Mary Karr wrote that Uwem Akpan "has invented a new language—both for horror and for the relentless persistence of light in war-torn countries." Did you find any beauty or goodness in these tragic tales? If so, offer some examples.