The range of authors takes in such literary greats as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Jhumpa Lahiri, and emerging authors such as Elaine Chiew, Petina Gappah, and Henrietta Rose-Innes.
The members of the collective are:
Elaine Chiew (Malaysia)
Molara Wood (Nigeria)
Jhumpa Lahiri (United States)
Martin A Ramos (Puerto Rico)
Lauri Kubutsile (Botswana)
Chika Unigwe (Nigeria)
Ravi Mangla (United States)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria)
Skye Brannon (United States)
Jude Dibia (Nigeria)
Shabnam Nadiya (Bangladesh)
Petina Gappah (Zimbabwe)
Ivan Gabirel Reborek (Australia)
Vanessa Gebbie (Britain)
Emmanual Dipita Kwa (Cameroon)
Henrietta Rose-Innes (South Africa)
Lucinda Nelson Dhavan (India)
Adetokunbo Abiola (Nigeria)
Wadzanai Mhute (Zimbabwe)
Konstantinos Tzikas (Greece)
Ken Kamoche (Kenya)
Sequoia Nagamatsu (United States)
Ovo Adagha (Nigeria)
From the Introduction:
The concept of One World is often a multi-colored tapestry into which
sundry, if not contending patterns can be woven. for those of us who worked
on this project, ‘One World’ goes beyond the everyday notion of the globe
as a physical geographic entity. Rather, we understand it as a universal idea,
one that transcends national boundaries to comment on the most prevailing
aspects of the human condition.
This attempt to redefine the borders of the world we live in through the
short story recognizes the many conflicting issues of race, language, economy,
gender and ethnicity, which separate and limit us. We readily acknowledge,
however, that regardless of our differences or the disparities in our stories, we
are united by our humanity.
We invite the reader on a personal journey across continents, countries,
cultures and landscapes, to reflect on these beautiful, at times chaotic, renditions
on the human experience. We hope the reach of this path will transcend the
borders of each story, and perhaps function as an agent of change.
Welcome to our world.
Through the two-way structure of the book, I Am Me depicts each tale in two distinct ways, offering a reader a choice between residing in a realistic world, or being lost within the labyrinths of fantasy. The stories are populated by an eclectic group of characters, ranging from a lonely boy who attempts to determine the value of friendship, to two birds named Max and Macs that fight for territory on an apple tree.
I Am Me attempts to challenge the segregation of literature into "fact" and "fiction" as well as life into "reality" and "fantasy." These labels are not mutually exclusive, for there is as much truth to every lie, as there are lies in every truth. It is perception that paints the difference between these concepts.
"These stories read like collaborations between Stephen King and TMZ with Borges and Nabokov on the edits. Each short story sounds with the thunder of a novel. Enthralling, dark, gut-busting stuff!"—Jeff Parker
Actor Matthew McConaughey descends into a surreal desert of the soul, an admirer of Miley Cyrus performs a three thousand-word sentence in defense of his passion, an aging porn star dons a dinosaur costume to film the sex scene of a lifetime, and Leonard Cohen shills for Subway: these mercurial and wildly varied stories explode the conventions of short fiction.
Spencer Gordon is the author of the acclaimed short story collection Cosmo (Coach House Books, 2012), the poetry collection Cruise Missile Liberals (forthcoming from Nightwood Editions in fall 2017), and three chapbooks. He is a co-founder of the ten-year-old literary magazine The Puritan, and his writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, the National Post, the Toronto Star, and other forums. He works at a speakers bureau in Toronto.