The Death of Vivek Oji

The Death of Vivek Oji

A Novel

Book - 2020/08
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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. Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, this is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations. Author of "Freshwater." Print run 50,000.
Publisher: Riverhead Books, 2020/08.
ISBN: 9780525541608
Branch Call Number: ON ORDER


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JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Sep 15, 2020

Oh so very good. Akwaeke Emezi writes lovely prose. Their Nigerian setting and nuanced look at LGBTQIA themes will sit with me for a long time. The mystery of what killed Vivek is the subject of the narrative. What actually ends up having killed him is a troubling reality of the world in which we live. Unsettling and beautiful.

Aug 25, 2020

One of the most powerful novels I’ve read about sexual identification is The Death of Vivek Oji. Slowly unfolding, it is the story of a bi-racial boy in Nigeria with a Nigerian father and a South Asian mother. Told in the voices of himself, his mother, his cousin, and friends, it focuses most on Vivek’s life and his relationships with family and friends. There has been much well-deserved praise heaped on this book, and I can only add to that praise. When I finished the book, I sat there hoping I, too, wasn’t complicit in refusing to accept the identity that a friend had chosen for themselves. Putting this story in a Nigerian setting brought home the world-wide challenge of learning to let our kids be our kids, the importance of our not wanting to ignore what they are trying to tell us, and to be accepting of whom they are. The ending was so powerful, so simple and yet so emotional. This will be one of my top books of 2020.


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Sexual Content: This book has a lot of graphic sex scenes.

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