By Awkaeke Emezi
Ada has always been unusual. As an infant in southern Nigeria, she is a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents successfully prayed her into existence, but something must have gone awry, as the young Ada becomes a troubled child, prone to violent fits of anger and grief. But Ada turns out to be more than just volatile. Born “with one foot on the other side,” she begins to develop separate selves. When Ada travels to America for college, a traumatic event crystallizes the selves into something more powerful. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these alters—now protective, now hedonistic—move into control, Ada’s life spirals in a dangerous direction.
Written with stylistic brilliance and based in the author’s realities, this raw and extraordinary debut explores the metaphysics of identity and being, plunging the reader intothe mysteries of self. Unsettling, heart-wrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater dazzles with ferocious energy and serpentine grace, heralding the arrival of a fierce new literary voice. (Read Excerpt)
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By Akwaeke Emezi
Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer and video artist based in liminal spaces. They are a 2018 National Book Foundation '5 Under 35' honoree and their debut autobiographical novel FRESHWATER is currently a finalist for a 2019 Lambda Literary Award and long-listed for the 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction, making it the first time in the 27-year history of the prize that a nonbinary trans author has been nominated. Translated into six languages, FRESHWATER was a New York Times Notable Book as well as a finalist for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize and the PEN/Hemingway Award. It was long-listed for the Carnegie Medal of Excellence, The Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize, The Wellcome Prize, the Aspen Words Literary Prize, and named a Best Book of the Year by the New Yorker, NPR, the Chicago Public Library, and Buzzfeed. FRESHWATER debuted as an Indies Introduce Title, receiving rave reviews from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker, the Guardian, and the LA Times, among others.