Book Review: Dear Senthuran by Akwaeke Emezi.


Book Review: Dear Senthuran by Akwaeke Emezi.

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.

Book Details

Literary awards: Stonewall Book Award for Non-Fiction (2022)

Format: 240 pages, Hardcover

Published: June 8, 2021 by Riverhead Books

ISBN: 9780593329191 (ISBN10: 0593329198)

Language: English

My Review of Dear Senthuran by Akwaeke Emezi.

I have read memoirs, but I haven’t read any that held on to me too tightly and refused to let go till I finished consuming the masterpiece that it was.

This book is a series of heartfelt letters Emezi addresses to some people, while baring their mind and life.

One thing I love about this memoir is its honesty, and sincerity. I got to delve into the life of Akwaeke and understand their struggles, and pains and joys.

Akwaeke writes about their god-ship, and how everyone tried so much to make them into what they know they were not.

Right from childhood, they’ve been an avid reader who read every book in their parents’ bookshelves, but then the fire that burned in them wasn’t doused.

Book Review: Dear Senthuran by Akwaeke Emezi.

Even when they didn’t have a name to it, they knew they existed in a wrong body. And because no one gave them the right answers they demanded, they started self-harming, because as an ogbanje, they existed to die.

The letter I loved so much are the ones they address to Nonso.

Execution / Dear Nonso

We’ve never met. This might not even be one of your many names, but I know you’re out there, several people scattered across the world, story tellers who are starting out…

… What happens after you make the work might be uncertain, but one thing is guaranteed: if you don’t make the work, nothing will happen…

Akwaeke Emezi, Dear Senthuran.

Now, I am taking this particular letter personally. I am substituting Nonso with Ezioma.

I am also a storyteller who is just starting out and I don’t know what tomorrow holds for me, but this letter is filled with hope.

It speaks to me. It tells me, ‘if I can do this, then you too, can. Your dreams are one hundred percent valid, you just need to put in the work.’ What’s a life without hope?

Book Review: Dear Senthuran by Akwaeke Emezi.

It goes further to tell me that writing is hard work. For me to succeed, I must put in the work, and be prepared to be faced with disappointments and manipulators.

But if I don’t put in the work, none of these would happen, and I might as well give up on my dreams of one day becoming a published author.

Book Review: Dear Senthuran by Akwaeke Emezi.

One thing I like about Emezi is their confidence and how much they believe in themselves.

In a portion of the book they says they know they can never work nine to five or serve tables again. They’re a writer, they write books for a living, and if that will not be their only source of income, then they would perish.

They even got their knuckles tattooed, as a reminder that no one would employ them, so they needed to work harder in writing their books.

Now tell me, what’s more confidence than this? I enjoyed every bit of this book, especially the one addressed to Marguerite and Nonso.

They talk about their childhood experience in Aba, and everything they went through, even the traumatic experiences they encountered in their course of existing.

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There is a lot of findings you would make in this book, a lot of fragility you would discover, a lot of pains, a lot of suicide attempts, a lot of hanging on a thread. Some you could relate to, and others you couldn’t.

To be honest, I was curious about Akwaeke’s life after I read The death of Vivek Oji. I wanted to know more about them, because the brilliance of that work should be studied.

And I knew a lot of the fictional events in that book might be part of their real life experiences. So after reading this book, I was satisfied. I understood a whole lot of things.

It takes a whole lot of courage to completely strip your life bare for people to read, and I must laud Akwaeke for that high level of courage.

I love the fact that this book makes you feel seen, dares you to discover who you truly are, and live your life for yourself irrespective of what anyone would think.

Book Review: Dear Senthuran by Akwaeke Emezi.

There comes a time in everybody’s lives, when they would take a bold step in their journey of becoming who or what they should be. The self they have masked for too long. And if you need a push, something to encourage you to go for it, then Dear Senthuran is that book.

It’s a great book, and I will rate it as 4.9/5. Yes, it is that awesome. Have you read the book? What do you think about it?

Please share your thoughts with me in the comment section, and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter, and follow me on all social media platforms. Thank you for visiting Bookish Pixie.

Book Review: Dear Senthuran by Akwaeke Emezi.
Dear Senthuran by Akwaeke Emezi.

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