What Else We've Been Reading
The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi
A delicate story of self-discovery and tragedy (no spoiler alert needed with that title!) from the author of Freshwater. Vivek struggles as a child with unexplained blackouts. He feels detached from his friends, his parents and his conservative Nigerian migrant community. It takes years before he allows himself to open up to his charming and confident cousin Osita. Though it seems Osita might have secrets of his own. When Vivek’s body is left at his family’s front door, his grief-stricken mother searches for the truth about his death, and we search for answers with her. How did he die? Why will no one tell her what they know? A short, crisp book with fast-paced chapters, this is a story of gender fluidity and personal bravery that will have you turning page after page.
Ghosts by Dolly Alderton
Dolly Alderton, co-host of The High Low podcast and beloved pop culture journalist, has released her debut novel and it's pure delight! The book begins on the 32nd birthday of our protagonist Nina, a successful food writer living in London. What ensues is "the strangest" year of Nina's life. Her father is succumbing to dementia; she is becoming increasingly distanced from her friends who are all busy getting married and having children; all the while learning about the dark world of dating apps. Alderton's writing is wry, compassionate and whip-smart. Here is a novel that, like her non-fiction book Everything I Know About Love and journalistic work, perfectly captures the anxieties and ambitions of the millennial generation.
Monogamy by Sue Miller
A quiet and compelling domestic drama that tracks a woman's feelings after suddenly losing her husband. Her grief is doubled when she learns he'd had an affair. The novel goes on to interrogate the mechanics of a lengthy marriage, widowhood, love and loyalty and their relationship to each other. It asks what makes a good marriage and what we can really know about the people we love. It's intense and haunting and very hard to put down!