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Akwaeke Emezi

Born in Umuahia and raised in Aba, Nigeria, Akwaeke Emezi received a Morland Writing Scholarship and is a Kimbilio Fellow. Emezi’s writing has been published by The Cut, Buzzfeed, Granta Online, Vogue.com, and Commonwealth Writers, among others. Currently long-listed for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, their debut autobiographical novel FRESHWATER (Grove Press) is a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and an Indies Introduce Title. FRESHWATER was also recognized on 2018 best/most anticipated books lists by Esquire, ELLE, Cosmopolitan, Buzzfeed, Huffington Post, Bustle, OZY, Electric Lit, and Book Riot, among others. Learn more about Akwaeke at Akwaeke.com or on Twitter at @azemezi.

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Pet: The human meets the divine, and both are changed

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

“There shouldn’t be any monsters left in Lucille.” The city of Lucille is a utopia. A generation ago, a resistance toppled all the monsters — monsters in this case meaning people: unjust politicians, bigots, predators. The leaders of the revolution are now called “angels” and are revered as elders. Jam is a teenage girl growing up in Lucille, and she appreciates the better world the angels built; as a black trans girl, she knows the world that came before would not have been as welcoming to her. But she still has questions that her teachers are hesitant to answer.

Jam’s life changes when she accidentally brings to life a strange, feathered creature from one of her mother’s paintings. The creature tells Jam to call it Pet, and that it is here to hunt a monster. The monster, Pet says, lives in the home of Jam’s best friend, Redemption. Jam’s parents insist that Pet must be mistaken, because t... Read More