June 14th, 2021
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THE GHOST AND THE HAUNTED PORTRAIT
THE GHOST AND THE HAUNTED PORTRAIT

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The Death of Vivek Oji
Akwaeke Emezi

Riverhead Books
June 2021
On Sale: May 25, 2021
256 pages
ISBN: 0525541624
EAN: 9780525541622
Kindle: B081Y41ZXX
Trade Size / e-Book
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Fiction Family Life

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NEW YORK TIMES EDITOR’S CHOICE

LONGLISTED FOR THE DYLAN THOMAS PRIZE

"Electrifying." — O: The Oprah Magazine
 

Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York TimesThe Washington Post, NPR, USA TODAY, Vanity Fair, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, Shondaland, Teen Vogue, Vulture, Lit Hub, Bustle, Electric Literature, and BookPage

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.

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