Inferno of Silence, by the award-winning poet Akinyemi, is his first collection of short stories. Writing from personal experience, intuition, and depth, the stories pull the reader inside. The stories demonstrate the difficulties in relationships and prove that some things are true regardless of cultural differences. The struggle for the modern man to balance his masculinity with the expectations of being emotionally well adjusted is revealed with vulnerability and courage.
In the story, “Black Lives Matter” I found myself agreeing with the writer that the real issue is every life needs to matter. The place to start is pointing out that the world is acting as if black lives do not matter. The story “Inferno of Silence” was emotional reality at its best, with a marriage that is not at all what one spouse thought it would be and the nightmare that follows. Each story is gritty, authentic, and captures the reader with the undeniable struggles in an adult world. For Akinyemi, moving from poetry to short stories appears seamless. Seriously good stories for thoughtful readers!