by Akwaeke Emezi


An Amazon Best Book of February 2018: Freshwater is a mesmerizing and poetic novel that cracks open notions of self-control, mental illness, and love. With every passing page, I felt myself submerge into the complex depths of Ada’s identity letting the waves of Igbo lore infiltrate my understanding of the world and completely change my perception of a person’s agency. The novel is narrated by the ogbange, “godly parasites with many heads,” that reside within “the marble room” of Ada, a Nigerian woman who has moved to North Carolina to attend college. As she enters adulthood, the gods take over and she is powerless to their demands. Though they have protected and comforted her, they also make her rage, inflict violence and destroy relationships with the ones she loves. It’s a devastatingly clear yet spiritual portrait of a life guided by a fractured self and what happens when your body is merely a vessel to the nefarious demons inside. A startling, beautifully written debut. --Al Woodworth

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