Book cover
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Publisher — Penguin Publishing Group
Date Published — August 04, 2020
ISBN — 9780525541608

The Death of Vivek Oji

Akwaeke Emezi

View in Webstore
Publisher — Penguin Publishing Group
Date Published — August 04, 2020
ISBN — 9780525541608
"Electrifying." — O Magazine

Named one of the year’s most anticipated books by The New York TimesElleHarper’s Bazaar, BuzzFeed, Refinery29, and more

What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew?


One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom. 

Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.