An Ex-Mas Feast is the first story of the short story collection in Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan.
This is the story of a poor, homeless family living in Africa in deplorable conditions. The family rely on their 12 year old daughter who turns to the streets to work and raise money to provide for her family. Her younger siblings including her 8 year old brother ,who narrates the story, also work the streets and beg and steal for money and food. My heart went out to this family trying to survive and the ways they do so is heartbreaking. This story emphasizes the the victims of the plight of poverty in Africa and how they survive. It opened my eyes to a lifestyle that is unimaginable but is reality in this world. I think it's important to read stories like this to open our eyes to what is happening in the world even though it's uncomfortable to read about and even though we may not personally be affected by it.
This is an Oprah Book Club Selection , here is a video with some thoughts Oprah shares about the first story.
*This book is my own personal copy. I am an Amazon Associate.