BIOGRAPHY

Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer and video artist based in liminal spaces. They are one of the National Book Foundation's '5 Under 35' for 2018, selected by Carmen Maria Machado. Currently longlisted for the Carnegie Medal of Excellence and short-listed for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize, their debut autobiographical novel FRESHWATER (Grove Press) was also long-listed for The Brooklyn Public Library Literary Prize and is a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and an Indies Introduce Title. It received rave reviews from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New Yorker, and the LA Times, among others, and is being translated into six languages.

Emezi's first young adult novel, PET, will be published in 2019 by Make Me a World, Christopher Myers' imprint in partnership with Knopf Books for Young Readers. Their second adult novel, THE DEATH OF VIVEK OJI, is forthcoming from Riverhead Books, and their short story 'Who Is Like God' won the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa. Emezi was photographed by Annie Leibovitz and profiled in the February 2018 issue of Vogue Magazine (Modern Families With A Cause), and their video art series THE UNBLINDING premiered in February 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, they were awarded a Global Arts Fund grant for the video art in their project The Unblinding, and a Sozopol Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction. Emezi's writing has been published by Dazed Magazine, The Cut, Buzzfeed, Granta Online, Vogue.com, and Commonwealth Writers, among others. Their memoir work was included in The Fader's 'Best Culture Writing of 2015' ('Who Will Claim You?') and their experimental short UDUDEAGU won the Audience Award for Best Short Experimental at the 2014 BlackStar Film Festival.

They are currently making video art and working on their fourth novel. For their upcoming events, click here.

CV

"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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