Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi


Akwaeke Emezi

Like a multiplex of images reflected in a cracked mirror, this story presents a fractured and disturbed protagonist. This is a harrowing book, sucking the reader into a vortex of self-harm, sexual abuse and suicide. The narrative thread loops backwards and forwards: a shifting version of what went before. Rooted in the author's own experience, it is a perplexing work of profound imagination and quite unlike anything I've ever read.


By the time she (our body) struggled out into the world, slick and louder than a village of storms, the gates were left open. We should have been anchored in her by then, asleep inside her membranes and synched with her mind. That would have been the safest way. But since the gates were open, not closed against remembrance, we became confused. We were at once old and newborn. We were her and yet not. We were not conscious but we were alive - in fact, the main problem was that we were a distinct we instead of being fully and just her.

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