Reviews

Dear Senthuran: A black spirit memoir, by Akwaeke Emezi

emmaito's review

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dark emotional reflective slow-paced

4.75

mmerichukwu's review

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emotional informative mysterious reflective medium-paced

5.0

droes_bompi's review

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4.0

Although I have the feeling I should have read one of their other books first, I really enjoyed reading these letters they is writing to everybody. I also marked so many sentences cause the writing is beautiful. Here is one of my favorites:

"I forgive myself for letting people go, because I am trying to hold on myself."

nicole_reads22's review

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5.0

"Alone, there's just me, and I see myself clearly.
Speaking to other people, though, requires channeling who or what I am into language they can understand. It requires folding."

I have never highlighted a book more. I can't thank Akwaeke enough for their courage and mastery for words. It’s difficult for me to put into words what a gift this book is and what it means to read such power and the visceral impact it has had on me. I can’t believe I have yet to read Freshwater... I will soon once I come done from processing these words.

what does it mean to exist and to exist honestly? they urge us to question our embodiment in this realm while witnessing the Ogbange unearths their own.

Understand this if you understand nothing fellow humans: it is a powerful thing to be seen.

marlenaonearth's review

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5.0

“I don’t have time for mourning, but my God, how mourning makes time for me.”
Emezi is a big god. Reading their work, looking into their soul and spirit, was a privilege.

sschmalz's review

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challenging dark emotional inspiring medium-paced

4.75

ceallaighsbooks's review

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challenging dark emotional funny hopeful informative inspiring reflective medium-paced

5.0

“I know many people survive, but I also think people glorify resilience a little too much, forgetting that the fragile ones simply die as the world walks on over their bones. There are some things we shouldn’t be boasting about. 
 
TITLE—Dear Senthuran 
AUTHOR—Akwaeke Emezi 
PUBLISHED—2021 
 
GENRE—memoir 
SETTING—liminal spaces 
MAIN THEMES/SUBJECTS—being a Black creator, being nonhuman, neurodivergency, love & friendship, identity 
 
WRITING STYLE—⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
BONUS ELEMENT/S—multiple references to Helen Oyeyemi and her books 🥰 
PHILOSOPHY—⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
 
“I remember how it felt, and I know it was true. Maybe not in this life or this dimension, but it was true, and I miss it so much.” 
 
I feel like this isn’t really a book one reviews so much as rereads and recommends endlessly forever and ever amen. My “reviews” exist as endless marginalia and pagetabs inside my physical hardcopy of this book and they’re a mite too personal to share here anyway. ☺️ 
 
Basically this memoir style book is written as a series of letters to people in Emezi’s life, both named and unnamed, friends, other writers and artists, family, influences, enemies, and abusers. They cover themes from friendship to love to Blackness to Otherness to Neurodivergency and to being a Creator. (I highly recommend this book to *all* aspiring creators—*especially* writers.) I particularly (and highly personally) loved the chapters/letters “Deity | Dear Eloghosa” and “Dreams | Dear Katherine”. 
 
Akwaeke Emezi is an inspiration on many different levels but I’m never not going to be amazed by the fact that they have been willing to share themselves and their story and their experiences via such gorgeous and raw prose again and again. I am very much looking forward to everything else they create forever and ever. ❤️ 
 
“Alone, there’s just me, and I see myself clearly.” 
 
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
 
TW // suicidal ideation, suicide attempt 
 
Further Reading— 
  • Freshwater, and everything else by Akwaeke Emezi
  • The Icarus Girl, and everything else by Helen Oyeyemi
  • The Bone People, and Te Kaihau The Windeater, by Keri Hulme
  • Zami, by Audre Lorde
  • The Night Before the Day, by Ailo Gaup
  • The Dangers of Smoking in Bed, by Mariana Enríquez
  • The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson
  • The Nesting, by C. J. Cooke


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ariellediaz1227's review

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dark emotional inspiring reflective sad tense slow-paced

5.0

 Akwaekes words are poetry. 
 There are so many parts of this book that made me emotional, I listened to them read it as well as read it physically. I found myself reading outloud. I wanted to hear how the power sounded coming from my own mouth . The feelings are similar and it makes my brain go "what does this mean? What do I do with this now?" I just felt it, its heavy. 

 My brain cannot formulate the words to describe the feelings I felt when reading the second half of Dear Daniel. 

Dear June pulled me apart and then put me back together.
  ' I have never thought of you as saving me, but I know that, because of my training and example, I know how to save myself- even, or especially, from you...' 
 '...if I would forgive you. I said no, but I don't think he understood that I'm not interested in punishing you either. That all Ive ever wanted is to not be harmed by people claiming to love me, to not have to protect myself constantly from them...' 

I shared that with multiple people in my life, and had lengthy conversations about it. It felt like this Spirit had written this for me in this moment when I am working on healing my mother wound. The timing is beyond explanation. 

I borrowed this book from the library, but I plan to purchase it. I need to own this piece of magic. I want to listen to them reading this story in their deep, slow speech before bed like a child. I am in love with the complexity of them, I related too deeply. I'm exhausted after reading this book, I'll probably need to digest it for some time. 
 

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undertheteacup's review

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dark emotional inspiring reflective medium-paced

5.0


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jstor's review

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dark emotional reflective medium-paced

4.5