Faber Books’ Instagram features a collection of stunning photographic interpretations of Akwaeke Emezi’s memoir Dear Senthuran. The photographs feature South African Instagram influencer Nokukhanya Ntsaluba styled in outfits inspired by the book. Faber books featured Ntsaluba’s instagram account @pretty_x_bookish  as part of a campaign to publicize Dear Senthuran.

Emezi’s memoir continues some of themes of queer, trans, and spirit experiences, which they exploring in their debut fiction Freshwater. As you can see from the images below, Ntsaluba channeled her signature work on creating literary content inspired by fashion and style to create a series of photograph, which she hopes centers the “theme of desire explored in [Dear Senthuran].

She quoted in the @faberbooks captions:

In responding to Akwaeke’s latest offering – and the idea of desire that is a theme explored in the book – I thought a lot about my own relationship with the visual aspect of the reading experience. In the past year or so I have found that doing book cover recreations and cover inspired makeup looks has given me a greater appreciation of how book covers entice readers and act as both an invitation and a foundation into imagining what the story holds. In thinking about Dear Senthuran I wanted to convey the boldness of the work through these images; the vibrance of the images speaks to my experience of the work. The book is bold, bright, elemental and affirming; which is what I hoped to convey in the cover recreation.’  Nokukhanya Ntsaluba


Ntsaluba looks gorgeous and powerful in the images. She conveys the feelings of self-love and opulence that Emezi explores in the memoir. Her re-imagination of Emezi’s work also brings a powerful visual component to a work that is already so richly layered. It speaks to the kind of creative collaborations that pushes the boundaries that separate literature and the visual art.

We’ve shared some of the photos. Enjoy!

Photographs from @faberbooks via Instagram