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The Death of Vivek Oji: A Novel Audiobook, by Akwaeke Emezi Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Akwaeke Emezi Narrator: Yetide Badaki, Chukwudi Iwuji, Iwuji Chukwudi Publisher: Penguin Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2020 ISBN: 9780593211472
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"Electrifying." — O Magazine Named one of the year’s most anticipated books by The New York TimesElleHarper’s Bazaar, BuzzFeed, Refinery29, and more What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew? One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection 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 married to Nigerian men. 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 Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.  Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Brilliant . . . This is a book full of line-level beauty; a book of multiple perspectives, each rendered organically and fully; a book of mystery and community and love. . . . A special read that will not soon be forgotten. Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of Friday Black
  • Remarkably assured and graceful. . . . Emezi has once again encouraged us to embrace a fuller spectrum of human experience. The Washington Post
  • One of the best books of 2020. . . . a vivid, propulsive experience. . . . about freedom and our capacity to imagine what it’s like to be someone else, or perhaps, more so, what it’s like to experience them as they are. Goop
  • A testament to Emezi’s immense literary prowess. Elle
  • “[A] dazzling, devastating story . . . A puzzle wrapped in beautiful language, raising questions of identity and loyalty that are as unanswerable as they are important. The New York Times Book Review
  • Electrifying O: The Oprah Magazine
  • Although Akwaeke Emezi introduces us to Vivek Oji in death[,] it is his life that will resonate with readers, long after they've turned this book's final page. Refinery29
  • Propulsive and resonant. . . . Emezi is a dazzling literary talent whose works cut to the quick of the spiritual self. Esquire 
  • A masterful winding and unwinding of the tethers of love, shame, identity, intimacy, and violence. . . . The story takes us into the intimate worlds of each character, with chapters moving fluidly between consciousness and the voice that sees all of them moving and making choices. . . . [The Death of Vivek Oji] made me want to live. Man Repeller
  • “The Death of Vivek Oji is an alchemy of personal family story and untouchable myth. It circles itself, like a shark preparing to take down its prey; reader, you will be disarmed. LitHub
  • An astonishing book . . . With warmth and great detail, Emezi explores the complicated friction of cultural clashes and the loss of youthful innocence. Stylist
  • A deep, tender look at a family unraveling around the tragic and early loss of someone they loved but never understood. . . . beautifully captures an ordinary family in all its loving, hurtful, messy glory. Shelf Awareness 
  • Emezi offers a richly textured depiction of a middle-class community in Nigeria . . . Vividly written and deeply affecting.  Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

    Praise for Akwaeke Emezi:
  • “Dazzling. Los Angeles Times

     “Extraordinarily powerful.
  • Remarkable and daring. The New York Times Book Review
  • The arrival of a major talent. San Francisco Chronicle

    “Akwaeke Emezi parts the seas of the self.
  • Equal parts brilliant and heartbreaking as readers are taken on a journey to discover the hidden parts of Vivek's life and the mystery surrounding his death. Marie Claire 

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About the Author

Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer and artist based in liminal spaces. Born and raised in Nigeria, she received her MPA from New York University. She was awarded a 2015 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship and won the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa. Her work has been selected and edited by Chimamanda Adichie and published in various literary magazines, including Granta.

About the Narrator

Yetide Badaki is a Nigerian-born actress who has been seen performing all around the world. Better known as the goddess Bilquis on the Starz series American Gods, her other television credits include ABC’s Lost, the Fox show Touch, and Criminal Minds on CBS.