GSWS Feminist Book Club - January 2024

January 10, 2024

GSWS Feminist Book Club's January Book:

The Death of Vivek Oji

Akwaeke Emezi

Riverhead Books (2020)

We really enjoyed reading The Death of Vivek Oji and loved discussing it even more. We thought that the author was so clever in the way they wrote their characters and we kept discovering little nuggets the deeper our conversation got. Akwaeke Emezi does such a brilliant job at creating this visceral image of Vivek laying on the front door of his home, stripped down to absolutely nothing in his death. This is a juxtaposition to the way they use bodies as a conversation in the rest of the book where the characters used their bodies almost as an extension of their conversation, for example Juju and Osita exploring their grief of Vivek in a way that was not verbal but was still very comforting for both parties. The authors placement of Ebenezer gave us a third party point of view where we see Nnemdi as seen through another persons lens as purely Nnemdi without question. We questioned whether the author intentionally created this universe where this could be read from two distinct point of views. One being a western point of view that could read Vivek as journeying through transness vs a more traditional/spiritual point of view that reads Vivek as just a reincarnation of his grandmother - hence his gender nonconformist expressions. We thought that Vivek died in the humblest of ways and we debated whether that left us unsatisfied or pleased that Vivek died in that way rather than in a gruesome way that we anticipated from the start of the book. 

Average rating is 4.2