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Dear Senthuran

Akwaeke Emezi

A raw exploration of identity that shatters boundaries and explodes the way we think about the idea of the self

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Date Published
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‘Unlike anything I’ve read . . . Remarkable.’ Roxane Gay

‘An audacious sojourn through the terror and beauty of refusing to explain yourself. ‘ New York Times

In letters addressed to their friends, to members of their family – both biological and chosen – and to fellow storytellers, Akwaeke describes the shape of a life lived in overlapping realities. Through heartbreak, chronic pain, intimacy with death, becoming a beast, this is embodiment as a nonhuman: outside the boundaries imposed by expectations and legibility. This book is an account of the grueling work of realignment and remaking necessary to carve out a future for oneself.

The result is a Black spirit memoir: a powerful, raw unfolding of identity.

Critic Reviews

‘One of the year’s most anticipated memoirs . . . Radical and powerful . . . Raw and demanding space, this is a must-buy.’

Critic Reviews

Dear Senthuran…was not written for you or for me; Emezi is not concerned with such earthly things. This is a book about terms, and the agency we can afford ourselves by doing away with them altogether. It is also an audacious sojourn through the terror and beauty of refusing to explain yourself in the relentless pursuit of self-actualization.

New York Times
Critic Reviews

A thing of great beauty . . . Dear Senthuran is about powerful excellence, especially the excellence that appears in bodies that aren’t white and aren’t male. Emezi is changing the world and our reaction to this kind of power.

The Paris Review
Critic Reviews

An illuminating account of storytelling, self, and survival.

Lambda Literary
Critic Reviews

High-voltage . . . a remarkable memoir by a writer who doesn’t shy away from sharing their ambitions or their vulnerabilities.

Poornima Apte, Booklist
Critic Reviews

A must-read memoir about creativity and identity.


Akwaeke Emezi (they/them) is the author of the memoir Dear Senthuran; 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, longlisted for both the Wellcome Book Prize and the…

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