by Alex Vo

Akwaeke Emezi is one of the most prolific African authors writing today. They have published seven books in four years across 5 genres. The last three books were all published in 2022, with four more books currently under contract. But Emezi recently shared that they will be taking a much-needed break from publishing in 2023.

Emezi shared the news on Twitter in response to a fan commenting on her prolific output:  “You’re writing faster than I can read them 😭😭😭.”  Emezi replies:

We are all for making and finding moments of stillness to refill, recharge, rethink, re-energize. As Audre Lorde remarks in A Burst of Light, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Lorde touches on how caring for the self is a necessary part of a creative and activist life.

Breaks are also great for prioritizing mental and physical health. Emezi have often taken to Twitter to reflect on the fast-paced nature of today’s world:

Emezi is an award-winning Nigerian author with an MFA from Syracuse University. They published You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty, Bitter, and a poetry collection Content Warning: Everything all in 2022. Emezi 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.

Emezi’s previous books have won many awards. The Death of Vivek Oji (2020) won the Nommo Award and was a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Pet (2019) was a Walter Honor Book and a Stonewall Honor Book. Freshwater (2018) won the Nommo and Otherwise Awards. Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir (2021) won the 2022 ALA Stonewall Prize for Best Nonfiction Book.

Despite the announcement that they will be taking a break in 2023, Emezi has reassured fans that there are lots more books coming to stores in 2024 and after.

4 more, to be precise!

We wish Emezi a happy and restful break in 2023, and hope that this next year brings them lots of creative energy to write future books and devote to activism. To Emezi’s fans, stay tuned for more updates about upcoming publications!