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Amidst riots in small-town Nigeria, Vivek Oji, long-haired cross-dressing delicate, gender-fluid 20-something, mix-breed (Nigerian father, immigrant Indian mother) misfit is killed and his dead body is left on the doorstep of his house. This is no spoiler. Book Review 🧵

Because that is what the title says. Devout conservative Kavita, Vivek's spunky determined mother is told She (this is what Vivek ultimately wants to be addressed as after a struggle with and against his own inner-self) by Vivek's friends that it must have been the mob or
...or some homophobic vigilante group that target men like Vivek for their sexuality, but Kavita wont settle for that answer and decides ,against the wishes of her Nigerwives (group of foreign born wives) friends who tell her to let it go, to embark on a struggle to find out
..who killed him. What folds through flashbacks told through multiple Point of Views is the story of Vivek from adolescence to manhood (and ultimately, as far as Vivek is concerned, to womanhood and becoming a She). The main POV is not though of Vivek but of his cousin Osita,
Vivek's best friend and kin; and of his female friends who become Vivek's refuge as he makes his per transition from imposed masculinity towards becoming 'she' in a society that has little tolerance for defying gender norms. This is a story about coming to terms with your
...sexuality. Naturally there is trauma, abuse and suffering. Vivek, we learn from an early age, experience blackouts, fits, and episodes of abnormal behaviour. Kavita tries everything to fix her son: religion, prayers, church. Nothing works and her only son slides into
..depression, anti-social behaviour and shuts himself from the real world. Vivek, Osita, and the girls wrestle with adolescent drama, hormones and desire. The tragic of Vivek's death, foretold from the first sentence of the book looms large in the narrative which makes
..reading the book a rather serious experience. Graphic warming: death, trauma, disturbing sex and abuse. While the writing is awesome, Emeze is clearly a gifted writer who is into her 4th work and there are very few weaknesses is her language, my only problem with the book
...though was the fact that despite the Nigerian setting, the narrative felt like it was taking place in conservative North American small town with a close knit insular community that keeps tight. Not that I am an expert on Nigeria, but it just didnt come across as exotic to me.
Emezi is nonetheless a very important modern Nigerian writer (alongside Teju Cole, Chimamanda Adiche and Oyinkon Braithwaite - there are others but these are only ones I am familiar with) who have taken the mantle from Chinua Achebe, Ben Okri and Soyinka. 3.75/5


'saib kho nan pa chutai de'. Prends, kirkat,Kor,Daftar, aw Board,Tahqal, Kacha Garhe. Mostly books,cricket & life as a Modern Pashtun Man. #NaPohaBookReviews
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