“Marta Maretich has a fine and witty imagination. Her novella presents an entertaining and thought-provoking romp in Central California, complete with otiose lions and irritable oilmen, all seen through the eyes of a sensitive and precocious young girl.”
― Tony Eprile, The Persistence of Memory and Temporary Sojourner and Other South African Stories
“Marta Maretich knows that the world is both more various and more wonderful than it may appear. The Possibility of Lions looks at feelings that cannot easily be named, and reveals hidden lives behind the bleached out colors of the California heartland. Maretich writes in a clear, sharp voice edged through with humor and compassion. She knows what it means to be displaced, and the unexpected friendships forged between the lost.”
— Catherine Temma, The Priest Fainted
The McCall family should be thrilled to be back in California, after what happened to them in Africa. Forced to flee their home in Nigeria by the violence of the Biafran Civil War, they turn up in a small town in the San Joaquin Valley, and everyone assumes they must be delighted to be back in their own country. But while life in the States may be safe, it’s also foreign to this unlikely family of refugees. They dream of the day they’ll return to their real home in Africa—a prospect that seems more remote as they watch the brutal progress of “their” war on television.
Fortunately, relief comes in the suave form of Anatole Hachette and Roland, his lion. Like the McCalls, Anatole has been thrown out of Africa. Unlike them, he has solved the problem of losing his native land. His plan is to recreate a piece of it in California by establishing a wild animal park, Safariland, on the dry plains outside of town. But will the cautious locals embrace the possibility of lions? And can two such different worlds really be brought together in one place?
THE POSSIBILITY OF LIONS READING GUIDE
Marta Maretich is a poet and fiction writer. Her work has appeared in The Harvard Review, The Georgia Review, The Jacaranda Review and Christopher Street. Marta was editor of The Berkeley Poetry Review and Whispering Campaign, a journal of arts and literature. She has been awarded artist residencies at Yaddo and Norton Island, Maine. Marta Maretich lives in London.
The Possibility of Lions
by Marta Maretich
by Marta Maretich
Paper, 90 pages
Reading level: 4.7