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About Akwaeke Emezi
Akwaeke Emezi is an artist and writer based in liminal spaces.
Their most recent adult novel THE DEATH OF VIVEK OJI (Riverhead Books) was an Instant New York Times Bestseller, an Indie Bestseller, and an Indie Next selection. A 2018 National Book Foundation '5 Under 35' honoree, Emezi was born in Umuahia and raised in Aba, Nigeria.
Their debut YA novel PET (Make Me a World/RHCB) was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award for Young People's Literature and a Lambda Literary Award, as well as an Indie Next selection. Praised in The New York Times, it received a Stonewall Honor, a Walter Honor, and an Otherwise Award Honor after debuting with five starred reviews from Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Bookpage, and Bulletin.
Emezi's debut autobiographical novel FRESHWATER (Grove Atlantic) is in early development as a TV series at FX, with Emezi writing and executive producing with Tamara P. Carter. Translated into twelve languages, FRESHWATER won the 2019 Otherwise Award (formerly the Tiptree) and the Nommo Award. It was a New York Times Notable Book as well as a finalist for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize, the PEN/Hemingway Award, the NYPL Young Lions Fiction Award, the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, and a Lambda Literary Award. FRESHWATER was long-listed for the Carnegie Medal of Excellence, the Women's Prize for Fiction, the Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize, The Wellcome Prize, the Aspen Words Literary Prize, and named a 2018 Best Book of the Year by the New Yorker, NPR, the Chicago Public Library, and Buzzfeed.
Follow them on social media at @azemezi or check out their website www.akwaeke.com!
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How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?
She stumbled backwards, her eyes wide, as the figure started coming out of the canvas
She tried to be brave. Well, she said, her hands only a little shaky, at least tell me what I should call you.
Well, little girl, it replied, I suppose you can call me Pet.
There are no more monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. With doting parents and a best friend named Redemption, Jam has grown up with this lesson all her life. But when she meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colours and claws, who emerges from one of her mother's paintings and a drop of Jam's blood, she must reconsider what she's been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption's house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth.
In their riveting and timely young adult debut, acclaimed novelist Akwaeke Emezi asks difficult questions about what choices a young person can make when the adults around them are in denial.
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.
One of Stylist's Best Memoirs for Summer 2021
'Unlike anything I've read . . . Remarkable.' Roxane Gay
'A thing of great beauty.' Paris Review
In letters addressed to their friends, to members of their family - both biological and chosen - and to fellow storytellers, Akwaeke describes the shape of a life lived in overlapping realities. Through heartbreak, chronic pain, intimacy with death, becoming a beast, this is embodiment as a nonhuman: outside the boundaries imposed by expectations and legibility. This book is an account of the grueling work of realignment and remaking necessary to carve out a future for oneself.
The result is a Black spirit memoir: a powerful, raw unfolding of identity.
'An audacious sojourn through the terror and beauty of refusing to explain yourself. ' New York Times
From the critically acclaimed author of Pet and The Death of Vivek Oji, Bitter, a companion novel to Pet, takes a timely and riveting look at the power of youth, protest and art.
Bitter is thrilled to have been chosen to attend Eucalyptus, a special school where she can focus on her painting surrounded by other creative teens. But outside this haven, the streets are filled with protests against the deep injustices that grip the town of Lucille.
Bitter's instinct is to stay safe within the walls of Eucalyptus . . . but her friends aren't willing to settle for a world that the adults say is "just the way things are." Pulled between old friendships, her creative passion, and a new a romance, Bitter isn't sure where she belongs - in the art studio or in the streets. And if she does find a way to help the revolution while being true to who she is, she must also ask: at what cost?
Vivek Oji ist schon früh anders als die anderen Kinder und leidet unter Ohnmachtsanfällen. Während der Vater den Militärdienst herbeisehnt, überschüttet die Mutter den Sohn mit Fürsorge. Viveks engste Bezugsperson ist sein Cousin Osita. Kann er Vivek helfen, sein Innerstes zu offenbaren?
Ada wächst im Süden Nigerias auf. Sie ist ein sprunghaftes und schwieriges Kind und ein Quell steter Sorge für ihre Eltern. Adas verschiedene Ichs kommen immer wieder zum Vorschein und rücken vor allem nach ihrem Umzug in die USA immer stärker in den Vordergrund. Nach einem traumatischen Übergriff nimmt Adas Leben eine dunkle und gefährliche Wendung.
"SÜSSWASSER ist reine Perfektion: sexy, sinnlich, magisch, weise. Eines der umwerfendsten Debüts, die ich je gelesen habe." Taiye Selasi, GUARDIAN
"Außergewöhnlich und mutig, poetisch und verstörend." NEW YORK TIMES
"Eine ungeheuer kraftvolle und sehr besondere Einwanderungsgeschichte." Edwidge Danticat, NEW YORKER