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Akwaeke Emezi’s Fresh Water is one reason some of us can’t wait for 2017 to get here.

A few months ago when she shared the news that she’d signed a book deal with Grove Atlantic, all we knew about the book in question was the title. We also knew that Binyavanga Wainaina had read it and thought it was “amazing.” But that was about it…well, until a few days ago when Emezi posted an image of “the publishers market place announcement” on her Instagram page.

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As stated in the image above, “Akwaeke Emezi’s Fresh water, explor[es] the metaphysics of identity and mental health, told in boundary-breaking new form and centering on a young Nigerian woman as she struggles to reconcile the proliferation of multiple selves within her.” 

Mental health and the metaphysical dimensions of identity are clearly central to the novel’s thematic concerns. Key plot detail: the story revolves around a Nigerian woman with multiple selves. Right off the bat we know that such a story would do wild and interesting things at the level of form and aesthetics. This is, of course, confirmed in the statement that the novel is “told in a boundary-breaking new form.” So we are keeping an eye out for something that leans towards the experimental side of storytelling.

A little tidbit for those who didn’t notice. The image also shows that Emezi and Chimamanda Adichie share the same literary agent, Jacqueline Ko of The Wylie Agency. How cool is that!

Congrats to Emezi. We can’t wait!

 

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Post image from Akwaeke Emezi’s Instagram page.

 

 

 

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Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

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