Fresh­wa­ter

The Irish Mail on Sunday - - MORE | BOOKS - Gwen Smith

Ak­waeke Emezi Faber €24

Ada is born in Nige­ria with a cho­rus of spir­its in tow. The in­ter­ven­tions of these un­ruly be­ings make for a choppy in­fancy, but their po­tency gains new heights when Ada is raped as a teenager af­ter mov­ing to Amer­ica. In her scorch­ing de­but, Emezi turns to Igbo spir­i­tu­al­ity to make sense of mul­ti­ple iden­ti­ties – Ada lies some­where in be­tween the male/fe­male bi­nary, and she is both a chaste Chris­tian and a vo­ra­cious lover. With themes of sui­cide, self-harm and as­sault, it is ul­ti­mately an ex­hil­a­rat­ing fa­ble about the heal­ing power of self-knowl­edge.

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