Litquake, Lambda Literary and MoAD present | Akwaeke Emezi: Selves Are Not Gods or Spirits
A rising star in today’s Nigerian novel boom, the trans and non-binary Akwaeke Emezi has brought us Freshwater, an autobiographical debut written with stylistic brilliance, exploring the metaphysics of identity and being, plunging the reader into the mysteries of self. Currently long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and the Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize. In conversation with Whiting Award-winning novelist Esmé Weijun Wang.
Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer and artist based in liminal spaces. Born and raised in Nigeria, they received their MPA from New York University and was awarded a 2015 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship. They won the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa. Their work has been published in various literary magazines, including Granta. Freshwater is their debut novel.
Esmé Weijun Wang is the author of the novel, The Border of Paradise, which was called a Best Book of 2016 by NPR and one of the 25 Best Novels of 2016 by Electric Literature. She received a 2018 Whiting Award, was named by Granta as one of the “Best of Young American Novelists” in 2017, and is the recipient of the Graywolf Nonfiction Prize for her forthcoming essay collection, The Collected Schizophrenias. Born in the Midwest to Taiwanese parents, she lives in San Francisco, and can be found at esmewang.com and on Twitter @esmewang.