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Akwaeke Emezi - Author

About the Author

Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer and video artist based in liminal spaces. They are a recipient of the National Book Foundation's '5 Under 35' award for 2018, selected by Carmen Maria Machado. Born in Umuahia and raised in Aba, Nigeria, Emezi holds two degrees, including an MPA from New York University. In 2017, Emezi was awarded a Global Arts Fund grant and a Sozopol Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction. They won the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa, and their writing has been published by Dazed Magazine, The Cut, Buzzfeed, Granta Online, Vogue.com, and Commonwealth Writers, among others. Freshwater, which was longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in fiction by the American Library Association, is their debut novel.

Photo credit Elizabeth Wirija

Featured books by Akwaeke Emezi

Other books by Akwaeke Emezi

The Death of Vivek Oji

The Death of Vivek Oji

Author: Akwaeke Emezi Format: Hardback Release Date: 20/08/2020

'Astonishing.' Stylist 'Electrifying.' O: The Oprah Magazine 'Brilliant and heartbreaking.' Marie Claire 'Propulsive and resonant.' Esquire They burned down the market on the day Vivek Oji died. One afternoon, a mother opens her front door to find the length of her son's body stretched out on the veranda, swaddled in akwete material, his head on her welcome mat. The Death of Vivek Oji transports us to the day of Vivek's birth, the day his grandmother Ahunna died. It is the story of an over protective mother and a distant father, and the heart-wrenching tale of one family's struggle to understand their child, just as Vivek learns to recognize himself. Teeming with unforgettable characters whose lives have been shaped by Vivek's gentle and enigmatic spirit, it shares with us a Nigerian childhood that challenges expectations. This novel, and its celebration of the innocence and optimism of youth will touch all those who embrace it. What readers are saying: 'The book is so beautifully written and I've never read anything like it ever before.' 'This is a gorgeously written story of identity, sexuality, love, grief, friendship, and the need to live the life you want, even in a country where doing so might be deadly . . . This was emotional, beautiful, and so poignant, and their storytelling took my breath away.' 'This book is both so joyful and so devastating.' 'The way Emezi made me care so deeply about these characters was just incredible, so that when the whole truth of Vivek's death was revealed I felt so personally affected by it. This book is about so many things all at once . . . The writing is so simple yet beautifully emotive. And I cried.' 'FIVE HUGE STARS . . . The Death of Vivek Oji is a poignant and tantalizing novel that wraps you up in its web of characters and feeds on you with carnivorous force, all while softening your heart and mind to a world outside of the normal social constraints we have been conditioned to.' (Goodreads reader reviews)

The Death of Vivek Oji

The Death of Vivek Oji

Author: Akwaeke Emezi Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/08/2020

They burned down the market on the day Vivek Oji died. One afternoon, a mother opens her front door to find the length of her son's body stretched out on the veranda, swaddled in akwete material, his head on her welcome mat. The Death of Vivek Oji transports us to the day of Vivek's birth, the day his grandmother Ahunna died. It is the story of an over protective mother and a distant father, and the heart-wrenching tale of one family's struggle to understand their child, just as Vivek learns to recognize himself. Teeming with unforgettable characters whose lives have been shaped by Vivek's gentle and enigmatic spirit, it shares with us a Nigerian childhood that challenges expectations. This novel, and its celebration of the innocence and optimism of youth will touch all those who embrace it.

Freshwater

Freshwater

Author: Akwaeke Emezi Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/06/2019

'Completely blew me away.' Daisy Johnson, author of Everything Under 'One of the most dazzling debuts I've ever read.' Taiye Selasi, author of Ghana Must Go 'I'm urging everyone to read it.' Sophie Mackintosh, author of The Water Cure Ada has always been unusual. Her parents prayed her into existence, but something must have gone awry. Their troubled child begins to develop separate selves and is prone to fits of anger and grief.When Ada grows up and heads to college in America, a traumatic event crystallises the selves into something more powerful. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind, these 'alters' - now protective, now hedonistic - take control, shifting her life in a dangerous direction.

Freshwater

Freshwater

Author: Akwaeke Emezi Format: eBook Release Date: 01/03/2018

Ada was born with one foot on the other side. Having prayed her into existence, her parents Saul and Saachi struggle to deal with the volatile and contradictory spirits peopling their troubled girl.When Ada comes of age and heads to college, the entities within her grow in power and agency. An assault leads to a crystallization of her selves: As?ghara and Saint Vincent. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these selves - now protective, now hedonistic - seize control of Ada, her life spirals in a dark and dangerous direction.Narrated from the perspectives of the various selves within Ada, and based in the author's realities, Freshwater explores the metaphysics of identity and being. Feeling explodes through the language of this scalding novel, heralding the arrival of a fierce new literary voice.

Freshwater

Freshwater

Author: Akwaeke Emezi Format: eBook Release Date: 13/02/2018

An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born "e;with one foot on the other side."e; Unsettling, heartwrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of experiencing the world, one that illuminates how we all construct our identities. Ada begins her life in the south of Nigeria as a troubled baby and a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents, Saul and Saachi, successfully prayed her into existence, but as she grows into a volatile and splintered child, it becomes clear that something went terribly awry. When Ada comes of age and moves to America for college, the group of selves within her grows in power and agency. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these alters-now protective, now hedonistic-move into control, Ada's life spirals in a dark and dangerous direction. Narrated by the selves within Ada, and based in the author's realities, Freshwater explores the metaphysics of identity and mental health, plunging the reader into the mystery of being and self. Freshwater dazzles with ferocious energy and serpentine grace, heralding the arrival of a fierce new literary voice.

Author Info

Author's Website

https://www.akwaeke.com/

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