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Akwaeke Emezi    

Award-Winning Author & Video Artist

Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer and video artist based in liminal spaces. Currently long-listed for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize, her debut autobiographical novel FRESHWATER (Grove Press) is a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and an Indies Introduce Title. It received rave reviews from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker, and the LA Times, among others, as well as starred reviews from Library Journal and Booklist. FRESHWATER was also recognized on 2018 best/most anticipated books lists by Esquire, ELLE, Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Bustle, OZY, Electric Lit, and Book Riot, among others.

Emezi's first young adult novel, PET, will be published in 2019 by Make Me a World, Christopher Myers' imprint in partnership with Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers. Her short story 'Who Is Like God' won the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa. She was photographed by Annie Leibovitz and profiled in the February 2018 issue of Vogue Magazine (Modern Families With A Cause), and her video art series THE UNBLINDING recently premiered at Gavin Brown's enterprise in Harlem.

Born in Umuahia and raised in Aba, Nigeria, Emezi holds two degrees, including an MPA from New York University. In 2017, she was awarded a Global Arts Fund grant for the video art in her project The Unblinding, and a Sozopol Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction. She received a 2015 Morland Writing Scholarship to write her second novel, and is a 2016 Kimbilio Fellow. Emezi's writing has been published by The Cut, Buzzfeed, Granta Online, Vogue.com, and Commonwealth Writers, among others. Her memoir work was included in The Fader's 'Best Culture Writing of 2015' ('Who Will Claim You?') and her experimental short UDUDEAGU won the Audience Award for Best Short Experimental at the 2014 BlackStar Film Festival.

Books


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Freshwater
2018

News


A Startling Début Novel Explores the Freedom of Being Multiple ...

Katy Waldman writes that “Freshwater,” Akwaeke Emezi's début novel, is a study in dysphoria that explores the paradox of trying to trace a self that is defined by ...

A dazzling, devastating novel: 'Freshwater' by Akwaeke Emezi

There is a devastating moment in “Freshwater,” the debut novel by Akwaeke Emezi, when the main character known as Ada gives herself over completely to the ...

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