The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

The Death of Vivek Oji

Akwaeke Emezi

This authentic novel is based on the autobiographical experience of growing up and identifying as genderfluid in Aba, Nigeria. The intense emotion of losing Vivek washes all shades of outrage and guilt into a single portrait of a beautiful soul. A heart-wrenching universal experience of being diminished by the death of a child and friend who was never truly understood. Prepare yourself for a deeply immersive read in every way.


'That is not who my son was!' shouted Kavita, throwing the pictures to the floor. 'I don't know what you people did to him, but that was not my son! That was not my Vivek!'

Osita felt his chest hurt but he didn't know what to say. He was afraid that any words leaving his mouth would emerge dripping with guilt, and he was filled with nauseous relief that Juju had agreed to take out the photos of him and Vivek. Olunne was staring at Kavita with pity. Her sister, however, was furious.

'He didn't belong to you,' Somto growled, and they all looked at her, appalled. 'You keep talking as if he belonged to you, just because you were his mother, but he didn't. He didn't belong to anyone but himself. And the way you're behaving now - that's why we couldn't tell you. That's why he lived the last months of his life as a secret. That's why he couldn't trust you. You think you own him, when you didn't know anything that was going on in his life.'


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Explicit sexual content