AUTHOR: Akwaeke Emezi
PUBLISHER: Riverhead Books
DATE: May 25, 2021
The Death Of Vivek Oji
by Akwaeke Emezi
What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew?
One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious.
Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens–and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis–the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.
Multiple characters are attracted to people of multiple genders.