Vivek Oji: utterly captivating, complex, mercurial and profoundly connected to those who come to understand him. This novel unpicks Vivek's tale. It begins with his end, his body shrouded on his mother's doorstep, and moves backwards through time to tell us the story of Vivek's life and the mystery surrounding his death. Many will see The Death of Vivek Oji as a departure from Freshwater in that this is a deeply accessible novel suffused with family life and a tragedy sits squarely at its heart, but it speaks to Akwaeke's earlier work in its call to gender fluidity and the pain of adolescence lived beyond binary constructions of sexuality. As compulsively readable as it is tender and potent, this is a fresh, engaging novel about the innocence of youth and how it clashes with culture and expectation. THE DEATH OF VIVEK OJI tells the story of a Nigerian childhood quite different from the one we might expect - Akwaeke's writing speaks to the truth of realities other than those that have already been seen.
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