Two days ago, Akwaeke Emezi, an alumnus of Adichie’s prestigious Farafina Workshop, announced that her debut novel, Freshwater will be published by leading American publisher Atlantic Grove sometime between Fall 2017 and Winter 2018.

Emezi’s journey to becoming a debut novelist is clearly set for a happy ending!

It all began September last year when Emezie announced that she’d joined the client list of The Wylie Agency [read here if you missed it]. For those of you plugged into the African literary grapevines, you know that The Wylie Agency represents pretty much the entire African literary royalty—from Adichie to Teju Cole, including Chinua Achebe’s estate—and other high profile writers like Salman Rushdie and Al Gore. The moment Emezi became a Wylie woman, alongside Adichie, we knew something big was in the works.


Emezi is a leading figure among the new generation of African writers who are multi-talented. If you’ve been following her work (as you should be), then you know that whether she’s making films, writing stories, or writing nonfiction pieces, she’s a brilliant artist. The dedication and commitment that she brings to her work is evident in the results she produces, and we stand ever ready to cheer her on.

Remember when Emezi’s short story was published here on Brittle paper about three years ago? Well she has beyond lived up to the promise she held then, and she’s sure to soar even higher with this novel.  Her fiction has been published in a Caine prize anthology. She was a writer-in-residence at the Hub City’s Writers Project, and she’s received multiple awards, both for writing and for filmmaking.

By the way, Binyavanga Wainaina is the only one we know of who has read Freshwater, which he described on Facebook as “Amazing!”

Congrats to Emezi. We can’t wait!

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About Tiwaladeoluwa Adekunle

View all posts by Tiwaladeoluwa Adekunle
Tiwaladeoluwa Adekunle is a creative writer and a student of International Studies and English. Some of her work has been published by Shale, Limestone, Indiana Review and Brittle Paper. She is passionate about language, stories and Chipotle, and would almost always rather be writing.

4 Responses to “Adichie’s Protégé, Akwaeke Emezi, Makes Surprise Announcement” Subscribe

  1. Mikeinioluwa 2016/06/10 at 9:53 am #

    No, we can’t wait. Congrats, Emezi

  2. Marvel Chukwudi Pephel 2016/06/10 at 11:33 am #

    I am green with envy. In a good way. Congrats.

  3. Love 2016/06/10 at 12:07 pm #

    The title is misleading. The farafina workshop was just one of her accomplishments, with several more you have mentioned as clearly pre-existing. Why exactly are you calling her a protege? Are the other workshop participants protégés too?

  4. Mathilda Edwards 2016/06/13 at 8:13 am #


    I think we may have met briefly at Ake festival last year, but by way of (proper) introduction, my name’s Mathilda Edwards, I work at the Miles Morland Foundation ( We’ve been admirers of your blog for a while, and particularly enjoyed your recent post on one of our scholars this year – Akwaeke Emezi.

    Given our shared interest in African literature, we would love to meet you and wondered if you were planning on attending any more African literary festivals in the future, or if you have any plans to come to London?

    Congratulations on such a brilliant blog.

    Best wishes


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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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