Akwaeke Emezi is an Igbo and Tamil writer and video artist based in liminal spaces. Her debut autobiographical novel, FRESHWATER, is forthcoming from Grove Atlantic in February 2018 and her short story ‘Who Is Like God’ won the 2017 Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa.
She recently made a cameo in the music video for Jay-Z’s title track ‘4:44’, directed by Arthur Jafa. Kanyinulia.com presents you with quick facts about her.
1. Born in Umuahia and raised in Aba, Nigeria, Awake holds two degrees, including an MPA from New York University.
2. In 2017, she was awarded a Global Arts Fund grant for the video art in her project The Unblinding, and a Sozopol Fellowship for Creative Nonfiction.
my short story ‘who is like god’ is now up on @granta_magazine! this is a dope moment for me because i midkey always wanted my work published there + it was just extra nice to have it get in as the winner of the 2017 commonwealth short story prize for africa. click the link in my bio to see a short video in which i talk about divinity + deviance, as well as to finally read the full story. portrait by the amazing eloghosa osunde (@theforgetterseye)
3. She received a 2015 Morland Writing Scholarship to write her second novel, and is a 2016 Kimbilio Fellow. Akwaeke’s writing has been published by Granta Online and Commonwealth Writers, among others, and her cultural commentary has appeared on Vogue
4. Her memoir work was selected and edited by Chimamanda Adichie (‘Sometimes The Fire Is Not Fire’) and included in The Fader’s ‘Best Culture Writing of 2015’ (‘Who Will Claim You?’)
5. Her experimental short UDUDEAGU won the Audience Award for Best Short Experimental at the 2014 BlackStar Film Festival and has screened in over thirteen countries.
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