"Fresh water", by Akwaeke Emezi: what demons sting Ada
“Freshwater” (Freshwater), by Akwaeke Emezi, translated from English (Nigeria) by Marguerite Capelle, Gallimard, “From the whole world”, 256 p., € 20.50, digital € 15.
They are called Smoke and Shadow, Asughara or Saint Vincent, they are spirits which, according to the cosmogony of the Igbo ethnic group in Nigeria, form the personality and future of children, in the womb of the mother.wants them to be erased after the birth.But something has twisted for Ada.They remained in her body and her head."It was clear that she was going to go mad", affirm these spirits.The sequel will prove them right Strange baby who does not walk, but "crawls like a snake" and howls very loudly, Ada goes through a broken childhood, between a depressed mother who went to work abroad and a doctor father devoured by the failure of his career.quickly, she mutilates herself, encouraged by the multiple voices which dictate her actions.
The spirits are the narrators of Freshwater, the first novel that received a lot of attention in the United States when it was published in 2018.Its author, Akwaeke Emezi, born in Nigeria in 1987 to a Nigerian father and a Malaysian mother, defines himself as black, trans and non-binary, and sees himself as being many.In Fresh Water, which draws part of its power and uniqueness from his biography, Akwaeke Emezi chooses to set aside the Western vision of sexuality and personality disorders in favor of the ancestral Igbo gaze.A bit like his compatriot Chigozie Obioma in The Prayer of the Birds (Buchet-Chastel, 2020, read “Le Monde des livres” of January 3), where a narrator spirit igbo probes the alienating nature of a love story.
Posted Date: 2020-11-16