Freshwater

Freshwater

Book - 2018 | First edition
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An extraordinary debut novel, Freshwater explores the surreal experience of having a fractured self. It centers around a young Nigerian woman, Ada, who develops separate selves within her as a result of being born "with one foot on the other side." Unsettling, heartwrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of experiencing the world, one that illuminates how we all construct our identities. Ada begins her life in the south of Nigeria as a troubled baby and a source of deep concern to her family. Her parents, Saul and Saachi, successfully prayed her into existence, but as she grows into a volatile and splintered child, it becomes clear that something went terribly awry. When Ada comes of age and moves to America for college, the group of selves within her grows in power and agency. A traumatic assault leads to a crystallization of her alternate selves: Asụghara and Saint Vincent. As Ada fades into the background of her own mind and these selves, now protective, now hedonistic, move into control, Ada's life spirals in a dark and dangerous direction. Narrated from the perspective of the various selves within Ada, and based in the author's realities, Freshwater explores the metaphysics of identity and mental health, plunging the reader into the mystery of being and self. Freshwater dazzles with ferocious energy and serpentine grace, heralding the arrival of a fierce new literary voice.
Publisher: New York : Grove Press, [2018]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780802127358
0802127355
Branch Call Number: F EMEZI-A
Characteristics: 229 pages ; 22 cm

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Unlike any other book I've read. To the naked eye it's a book about mental illness, gender identity, expectations and fluidity, mixed cultural backgrounds, spirituality, etc. But Emezi doesn't write about any of these things in the way you'd expect. Her writing transcends the way these topics are typically discussed in fiction. You don't recognize that Emezi is talking about the trans experience, because Emezi isn't writing a trans character, she's telling a story--not trying to throw the trans experience into her novel for the sake of including a trending topic. The way Emezi structures the dialogue between the selves, can be confusing at times, you're not sure who is talking, which self is presenting, but that mirrors the Ada's own confusion and draws the reader closer to all the selves.

KatieD_KCMO Oct 05, 2018

Unlike any other book I've read. To the naked eye it's a book about mental illness, gender identity, expectations and fluidity, mixed cultural backgrounds, spirituality, etc. But Emezi doesn't write about any of these things in the way you'd expect. Her writing transcends the way these topics are typically discussed in fiction. You don't recognize that Emezi is talking about the trans experience, because Emezi isn't writing a trans character, she's telling a story--not trying to throw the trans experience into her novel for the sake of including a trending topic. The way Emezi structures the dialogue between the selves, can be confusing at times, you're not sure who is talking, which self is presenting, but that mirrors the Ada's own confusion and draws the reader closer to all the selves.

e
emroberts
Jun 26, 2018

My favorite read of 2018 so far. This book is lush, dark and gorgeous. It truly stuns me that this is Emezi's first novel. The writing is both striking and delicate, the subject honest, brutal and timely.

r
rixonkj
Apr 16, 2018

Powerful, challenging, by the end of the book I felt like I had been fractured and re-set, like I might heal better from here on out.

h
hbonsteel
Mar 23, 2018

this book completely blew me away. i started it on my morning commute, read more at lunch and my evening commute... then read for about five hours when i got home to finish it. it's hard to describe but it combines metaphysics and spirituality with trauma, processing... a deep exploration of internal self-talk, coupled with great wisdom and compassion. nothing short of incredible.

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brihawkins13 May 07, 2018

brihawkins13 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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