The Death of Vivek Oji

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The astonishing new novel from the author of Freshwater - longlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction and the Wellcome Book Prize.

They burned down the market on the day Vivek Oji died.

This is the tale of Vivek Oji: it begins with his end, his naked body shrouded on his mother's doorstep, and moves backwards through time to unpick the story of his life and the mystery surrounding his death.

The Death of Vivek Oji is the story of a Nigerian childhood quite different from those we have been told before. Teeming with unforgettable characters, it is as compulsively readable as it is tender and potent. This novel of family and friendship challenges expectations - it is a story of the innocence of youth that will move every reader.
Author: Akwaeke Emezi
Paperback  Published October 2020  304 pages
Read and Recommended by Hendri:
"Set in southeastern Nigeria, this novel begins with the naked body of Vivek Oji lying dead on his mother's doorstep. As his family and friends struggling with their grief, the award-winning author Akwaeke Emizi moves readers backwards through time from multiple viewpoints of the characters. Before found dead, people accuse Vivek of being out of his mind, as he lets his hair grow longer and escapes his parents' house to be with his cousin, Osita, and his closest friends. Nobody knows what is inside Vivek's mind until his mother, friends, and Osita begin to piece together the puzzle. Slowly, they all realise that Vivek buries a secret that connects the dead and the living world. This second novel from Emizi is such a rare book that I finished only in one-sitting. Not only does it brings spirituality to the mundane, but 'The Death of Vivek Oji' urgently asks us to imagine and feel multiple identities we each embody."
“Electrifying . . . The Death of Vivek Oji is a masterful contemplation on gender identity and fluidity, the heavy weight of shame, and the importance of having friends and family who accept you rather than attempt to ‘fix’ you.” — Salon

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