Set in a town in south-eastern Nigeria, this compassionate, visceral novel chronicles the title character who dies on the first page, and their family’s struggle to simultaneously understand them and to cope with their loss. A mesmerising and heart-breaking novel, navigating the intricacies of love and identity, which will touch all those who read it.
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
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.