THE DEATH OF VIVEK OJI by Akwaeke Emezi
Publisher: Riverhead (Penguin Random House)
Publication: August 2020
Book Agent: Jackie Ko/Wylie
Verve Team: NB, AR, DH, MH
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 heartstopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.
An instant New York Times bestseller.
Named one of the best books of 2020 by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, USA Today, Vanity Fair, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, Vulture, Lit Hub, and more.
Kirkus starred review.