Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

This is easily one of the most beautiful, haunting, and evocative works of writing I have ever read. Emezi’s memoir takes the form of a series of intimate letters to loved ones, idols, and other people in their life, exploring how each relationship has helped shape Emezi’s understanding of their physical, emotional, and spiritual selves. Emezi is unsparing and uncompromising in exploring the intricacies of their gender, body, race, relationships, career, and more, all founded on Emezi’s understanding of themself as an embodied spirit in, but not of, this world. In vivid, ethereal prose, Emezi is reinventing the memoir. 

— Allison S., Bookseller

It is rare that one gets a work as illustrative, intimate and earth-shattering as this one. To understand gender and Blackness, is to understand that there are rarely words that can be used to describe our experience and the inextricable otherworldliness of being Black and not of the colonial gender binary. Emezi creates a memoir unlike any other that takes on their close relationships and frames them within another dimension of gender and race, letter by letter, transforming how we consider the web of our lives. 

— Nia T., Bookseller



"A once-in-a-generation voice." - Vulture

"One of our greatest living writers." - Shondaland

A full-throated and provocative memoir in letters from the New York Times-bestselling author, "a dazzling literary talent whose works cut to the quick of the spiritual self." --Esquire

In three critically acclaimed novels, Akwaeke Emezi has introduced readers to a landscape marked by familial tensions, Igbo belief systems, and a boundless search for what it means to be free. Now, in this extraordinary memoir, the bestselling author of The Death of Vivek Oji reveals the harrowing yet resolute truths of their own life. Through candid, intimate correspondence with friends, lovers, and family, Emezi traces the unfolding of a self and the unforgettable journey of a creative spirit stepping into power in the human world. Their story weaves through transformative decisions about their gender and body, their precipitous path to success as a writer, and the turmoil of relationships on an emotional, romantic, and spiritual plane, culminating in a book that is as tender as it is brutal.

Electrifying and inspiring, animated by the same voracious intelligence that distinguishes their fiction, Dear Senthuran is a revelatory account of storytelling, self, and survival.

About the Author

Akwaeke Emezi (they/them) is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Death of Vivek Oji, which was longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize; Pet, a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature; and Freshwater, which was named a New York Times Notable Book and shortlisted for the PEN/Hemingway Award, the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, the Lambda Literary Award, and the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize. Selected as a 5 Under 35 honoree by the National Book Foundation, they are based in liminal spaces.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593329191
ISBN-10: 0593329198
Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publication Date: June 8th, 2021
Pages: 240
Language: English