Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer and video artist based in liminal spaces. Her debut autobiographical novel FRESHWATER (Grove Atlantic, February 2018) has been reviewed by the Wall Street Journal ('[a] witchy, electrifying story of danger and compulsion') and the LA Times ('a dazzling, devastating novel'). It also received starred reviews from Library Journal and Booklist, and has been recognized on 2018 best/most anticipated books lists by Esquire, ELLE, Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Bustle, OZY, Electric Lit, and Book Riot, among others. Emezi's first young adult novel, PET, will be published in 2019 by Make Me a World, Christopher Myers' imprint in partnership with Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers. Her short story 'Who Is Like God' won the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa. She was photographed by Annie Leibovitz and profiled in the February 2018 issue of Vogue Magazine (Modern Families With A Cause). Her video art series THE UNBLINDING recently premiered at Gavin Brown's enterprise in Harlem.

Born in Umuahia and raised in Aba, Nigeria, Emezi holds two degrees, including an MPA from New York University. In 2017, she was awarded a Global Arts Fund grant for the video art in her project The Unblinding, and a Sozopol Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction. She received a 2015 Morland Writing Scholarship to write her second novel, and is a 2016 Kimbilio Fellow. Emezi's writing has been published by The Cut, Buzzfeed, Granta Online,, and Commonwealth Writers, among others. Her memoir work was included in The Fader's 'Best Culture Writing of 2015' ('Who Will Claim You?') and her experimental short UDUDEAGU won the Audience Award for Best Short Experimental at the 2014 BlackStar Film Festival.

She is currently making video art and working on her third novel. For her upcoming events, click here.


"I stood at the border, stood at the edge and claimed it as central. Claimed it as central, and let the rest of the world move over to where I was." — Toni Morrison

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