Akwaeke Emezi’s novel You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty is about giving love a second chance despite the loss and trauma it can cause. Published by Atria Books on May 24, the novel is Emezi’s first attempt at writing romance and tells a heartfelt love story with tenderly written characters.
Emezi is a skilled Nigerian writer who has been named a New York Times bestselling author, a National Book Award finalist, and a 5 Under 35 honoree by the National Book Foundation. Their most recent novel has been much anticipated owing to Emezi’s reputation.You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty is a Good Morning America Buzz Pick and a Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by The Washington Post, Marie Claire, BuzzFeed, The Guardian, and more.
But what makes this novel so special goes beyond Emezi’s reputation as an award-winning author. You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty is a love story with a twist. The main character Feyi Adekola is healing from loss, but ends up finding love in the places she never thought to look before.
Feyi has been scarred by love before. Five years ago, an accident killed the love of her life. Her life has changed a lot since then. She is now an artist with her own studio and shares an apartment with her best friend who insists that Feyi begin dating again. After a steamy encounter at a rooftop party, Feyi has the most adventurous summer of her life with a luxury trip to a tropical island, decadent meals in the home of a celebrity chef, and a curator who wants to launch her art career.
When she starts dating the perfect guy Nasir, things seem to be going extraordinarily well except for one small issue. Feyi feels a sense of attraction towards Nasir’s father, a renowned celebrity chef, who is definitely off-limits. Will Feyi take the road not taken and grab onto this second chance at love? Or will she choose the less risky path and deny her desires? Read the book to find out!
According to the book description, Emezi’s passionate writing shows us the “constant bravery of choosing love against all odds.” In an interview with Vogue, Emezi reflected on writing the complexities of the main character Feyi:
I meant to write just like a fluffy romance that didn’t have any heavier themes. Unfortunately, once I started writing Feyi all this darkness just kept unfolding. It shows all the facets of her as a person—you have the version of her that’s doing rooftop parties and hooking up with people in the bathroom. And she’s still the same person who is an artist that’s working through her grief. I think it’s so important to show a Black woman who is all these things, and that you can be profane and promiscuous and that doesn’t mean that you don’t deserve a happily ever after.
Akwaeke Emezi is a renowned Nigerian author and earned an MFA from Syracuse University. They have published seven books in the past five years, with a prolific list of awards and honors. Their 2020 novel The Death of Vivek Oji won the Nommo Award and was a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Their 2019 novel Pet was a Walter Honor Book and a Stonewall Honor Book. Their debut novel Freshwater (2018) won the Nommo and Otherwise Awards. Most recently, Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir (2021) won the 2022 ALA Stonewall Prize for Best Nonfiction Book.
If you enjoy novels with strong female characters like Onyi Nwabineli’s Someday, Maybe and Bolu Babalola’s Honey & Spice, then we definitely recommend you check out You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty!