Freshwater

Freshwater

Book - 2018
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Ada begins her life in the south of Nigeria as a troubled baby and a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents, Saul and Saachi, successfully prayed her into existence, but as she grows into a volatile and splintered child, it becomes clear that something went terribly awry. When Ada comes of age and moves to America for college, the group of selves within her grows in power and agency. A traumatic assault leads to a crystallization of her alternate selves: Asụghara and Saint Vincent. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these selves, now protective, now hedonistic, move into control, Ada's life spirals in a dark and dangerous direction.
Publisher: New York : Grove Press, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780802127358
0802127355
Branch Call Number: FIC EMEZI 2018
Characteristics: 229 pages ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

Having been selected for the National Book Awards 5 Under 35, nonbinary author Akwaeke Emezi’s debut novel explores Igbo mythology with its Nigerian protagonist.

Traces the experiences of a deeply troubled young woman who alarms her devout Nigerian family as she succumbs to multiple personality disorder and begins to display increasingly dark and dangerous traits in accordance with her fractured personalities. (NoveList)

Traces the experiences of a deeply troubled young woman who alarms her devout Nigerian family as she succumbs to multiple personality disorder and begins to display increasingly dark and dangerous traits in accordance with her fractured personalities. (NoveList)

Traces the experiences of a deeply troubled young woman who alarms her devout Nigerian family as she succumbs to multiple personality disorder and begins to display increasingly dark and dangerous traits in accordance with her fractured personalities.

Finalist, Transgender Fiction.


From the critics


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t
therebeccaharris
Jul 03, 2020

https://electricliterature.com/46-books-by-women-of-color-to-read-in-2018/

r
ROBIN K TAYLOR
Apr 03, 2020

Twisted and intense, this book sheds light on mental illness through Nigerian mythology and culture. Amazing read!

r
ROBIN K TAYLOR
Apr 03, 2020

Twisted and intense, this book sheds light on mental illness through Nigerian mythology and culture. Amazing read!

IndyPL_JoannaW Oct 15, 2019

I am surprised to see this recommended as a LGBTQ+ title. It is a book about true, life-long, untreated mental illness: a great deal of self-harming behavior including cutting, suicide attempts, heterosexual sex with abusive (even violent) partners. Also includes accounts of her random mean and manipulative sexual treatment of men, and her rage filled childhood. None of this is remotely ascribed to gender dysphoria. Even a breast reduction (not removal) appears to be another act of self harm, not anything to do with transgender issues. There is only a very peripheral, almost negligible suggestion that it might be. Lyrical language and inclusion of African mythology are strong points, but this is a very painful book to read full of hopelessness. Very disappointed that it did not deal with transgender issues as suggested in the reviews.

STPL_JessH Sep 19, 2019

I was drawn to Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi because of their outstanding writing. I found out after that the novel is autobiographical. Their work stopped me in my tracks. This visceral, multilayered story is both beautiful and bewildering. Emezi writes of spirits and embodiment in both fiction and non-fiction. Check out this article:

https://www.thecut.com/2018/01/writer-and-artist-akwaeke-emezi-gender-transition-and-ogbanje.html

I’ve never read anything like Freshwater and can’t wait for their next book.

JCLChrisK Jun 20, 2019

Wow. Unique and powerful and moving and fulfilling. An experience.

n
nalahblueberry5
Mar 13, 2019

Very different and interesting.

b
booknrrd
Jan 22, 2019

Emezi's book is a strange ride through a young Nigerian woman's fractured psyche as she comes of age in Nigeria and the United States.

I am a pretty fast reader, and Freshwater forced me to slow down and really think about what I was reading. Reading it is an experience. I learned a lot about Nigerian folklore and how we process trauma. It was fascinating, but definitely not for everyone!

b
brookemagid
Dec 11, 2018

Didn't get into it and abandoned it early on.

l
legalsec2504
Nov 20, 2018

NY Times recommended book
2018

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brihawkins13 May 07, 2018

brihawkins13 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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