book cover of Freshwater

Freshwater

(2018)
A novel by

 
 
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, heart-wrenching, 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: Asghara 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.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Akwaeke Emezi is a major, exhilarating talent." - NoViolet Bulawayo

"What if we were not one person, but three in one body?created by careless gods who forgot to ‘close the gate’? Akwaeke Emezi’s novel, Freshwater, paints a fiercely unique, unforgettable story of identity, mental health and the world beyond ours. This impressive debut is lyrical and well-told." - Tananarive Due

"In Emezi’s remarkable debut novel, Freshwater, we enter the lives of our protagonist, starting in Nigeria and ending in the United States. Every page is imbued with radiant prose, and a chorus of poetic voices. With a plot as alive and urgent as it is relatable, Freshwater is also solidly its own, brims with its unique preoccupations. Never before have I read a novel like it?one that speaks to the unification and separation of bodies and souls, the powers or lack thereof of gods and humans, and the long and arduous journey to claiming our many selves, or to setting our many selves free." - Chinelo Okparanta

"With this stunning debut, Akwaeke Emezi has blessed us with nothing less than a masterpiece. Freshwater is a journey of loss and reconciliation, home and heartbreak, and ultimately a survivor’s guide to harmonizing spirit and flesh. Quite simply a gorgeous, elegant, and brutal work of truthtelling. To repeat: A masterpiece." - Daniel José Older

"Freshwater is one of those dazzling novels that defies these kinds of descriptions. We can gesture to the story - set in Nigeria and America, told by all the selves of its Tamil/Igbo protagonist - but such synthesis fails to convey the magic that awaits its reader. At once fiction and memoir, potent in its spiritual richness and sexual frankness, the text seems not to have been written by but channeled through its brilliant author. This may be Emezi’s debut novel but she is an old - an ancient - storyteller: thrillingly at home in the tradition of griots, poets, seers and seekers." - Taiye Selasi

"Wow. The net effect is a feeling of being peeled open, and quickly finding that skinless place to be normal. More than any novel I can remember, it feels utterly present to the place we are in the world." - Binyavanga Wainaina

"A clarion call to those of us who find that our minds are more haunted and complex than that of the status quo. In exquisite, unearthly prose, Akwaeke Emezi renders the ordinary strange and the strange, ordinary?making Freshwater the most stunning debut novel I’ve read in years. An unforgettable literary experience." - Esmé Weijun Wang


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Used availability for Akwaeke Emezi's Freshwater

Hardback Editions

November 2018 : UK Hardback
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Title: Freshwater
Author(s): Akwaeke Emezi
ISBN: 0-571-34539-5 / 978-0-571-34539-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 2018 : USA Hardback
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Title: Freshwater
Author(s): Akwaeke Emezi
ISBN: 0-8021-2735-5 / 978-0-8021-2735-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Grove Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Paperback Editions

December 2018 : UK Paperback
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Title: Freshwater
Author(s): Akwaeke Emezi
ISBN: 0-571-34927-7 / 978-0-571-34927-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


December 2018 : USA Paperback
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Title: Freshwater
Author(s): Akwaeke Emezi
ISBN: 0-8021-2899-8 / 978-0-8021-2899-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Grove Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


March 2018 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: Freshwater
Author(s): Akwaeke Emezi
ISBN: 0-571-34721-5 / 978-0-571-34721-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

February 2018 : USA Audio CD
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Title: Freshwater
Author(s): Akwaeke Emezi
ISBN: 1-68441-040-1 / 978-1-68441-040-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: HighBridge Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


February 2018 : USA Audio edition
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Title: Freshwater
Author(s): Akwaeke Emezi
Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon   


February 2018 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: Freshwater
Author(s): Akwaeke Emezi
Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

March 2018 : Australia, UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Freshwater
Author(s): Akwaeke Emezi
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon AU   


February 2018 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: Freshwater
Author(s): Akwaeke Emezi
Publisher: Grove Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA