Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme that was started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme is quite easy to follow – just randomly pick a book from your to-be-read list and give the reasons why you want to read it. It is that simple.
This week’s book:
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
Blurb from Goodreads
A dramatic and deeply moving novel of three generations coping with secrets, violence, and grief, against a backdrop of political and social unrest.
They burned down the market on the day Vivek Oji died.
One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover the lifeless body of her son wrapped in fabric on the welcome mat. The story of that child, Vivek Oji, is the story of two families from disparate cultures who came together in a time of upheaval, and of Vivek’s struggle to be true to a self whose spirit and longings defy conventional expectations. Raised by a privileged, distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, fugue states that disrupt all connection 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 resettled in the area. 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 his friend’s escalating crisis—the mystery of Vivek’s behavior gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of transcendent freedom.
Propulsively readable, teeming with vivid and unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a story of family and friendship that challenges expectations at every turn. It is a major step forward from a writer of rare insight into the porous barriers between body and identity, spirit, and self.
Why I Want To Read It
During this year’s Big Bad Wolf Sale, I managed to purchase a copy of Nigerian writer Akwaeke Emezi’s debut novel, Freshwater. As I was immersing in African literature that time, I immediately read the book. It was a remarkable and promising start, a refreshing interpretation of the realities that we grapple everyday. To cut the long story short, it was a novel I liked. I found Emezi’s story a very interesting one as well.
Imagine my delight when I learned that they are going to publish a novel this year, The Death of Vivek Oji. I am also looking forward to Yaa Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom. From the Goodreads blurb, The Death of Vivek Oji sounds like an interesting and insightful read. Apart from wanting to know what happened to Vivek Oji, I am also interested to know more about the turbulent backdrop upon which the story was built on. There seems to be a lot of Nigerian culture woven into the tapestry of the novel. That is one more reason to look forward to the book.
Nigerian writers, from what I have read this year so far, e.g. Ayobami Adebayo in Stay With Me and Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie in Half of a Yellow Sun, write vividly about their country’s colorful history, diverse culture and people. I am crossing my fingers that I manage to gain a copy of the book in the coming weeks.
Thus ends my Goodreads Monday post. How about you fellow reader, what book do you want to read? I hope you can share it in the comment box. For now, happy reading! Have a great week ahead!