Freshwater

240 pages

Published Feb. 13, 2018 by Grove Press.

ISBN:
978-0-8021-2735-8
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OCLC Number:
1028002059

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4 stars (17 reviews)

Both a recounting of trauma and its impacts, as well as a retelling of a Nigerian fable. The main character's multiple experiences of trauma are retold and the author unflinchingly explores how they are impacted (e.g., self-harm, dissociation). The character's psychology is viewed through a non-Western lens.

10 editions

reviewed Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

precious perspective

5 stars

a description of massive trauma from a non-western perspective that sits at the intersection of many oppressed categories, blackness, queerness, transness, neurodivergency (these 'categories' coming of course short of capturing the incredible richness of the author's experience)... heavy to read, I could have used some more content warnings from the person who introduced me to it... but I found it beautiful and necessary, I cried a lot

Review of 'Freshwater' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

How is this their debut?? This was fantastic! What a unique experience. I’d love to see this as a film or a play.

I don’t normally pay much attention to the sentence level writing of a story, but here it was so impressive. It reminded me of Toni Morrison in terms of precision and impact. Some really amazing passages here.

Then the narrative itself was also wonderful, engaging, and affecting. I loved the device of the marble room that held the different entities. The fact that this is at least semi-autobiographical stresses me out, though.

Review of 'Freshwater' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Though most often billed as fiction, interviews of Akwaeke Emezi that I’ve read make it clear that this liminal marvel of a story is very much a deeply personal autobiographical novel, “a breath away from being a memoir…the things that people think are fictionalised are not fictionalised,” and I’d wager you’ve never read anything quite like it.

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