The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

Staff Pick

Emezi sculpts such an elegant story out of heartbreak and wahalatrouble--you feel the weight of pain in the aftermath of tragedy. The novel begins with death then draws on the love and life that surrounded Vivek, whose presence continues beyond the grave. Steeped in a Nigerian culture riddled with homophobia, the novel slowly peels back the layers of Vivek’s torment as he reveals his true trans self to a small knot of close friends—most of whom are also quietly opening up about their own sexual identities while attending to Vivek after his mental collapse. Emezi is brilliant on how Vivek walks the line between an open private life and the fear and shame of hiding his sexuality; the tension rises as they gradually find solace with their cousin. This book is absolute magic.


The Death of Vivek Oji: A Novel By Akwaeke Emezi Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525541622
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Riverhead Books - May 25th, 2021

Mighty Justice by Dovey Johnson Roundtree

Staff Pick

Dovey Johnson Roundtree (1914-2018) is not a household name—yet. However, what this absolutely inspiring woman was able to accomplish for civil rights was revolutionary and should make her one. In Mighty Justice: My Life In Civil Rights (Algonquin, $16.95), Roundtree, with co-author Katie McCabe, regales us with hard fought triumphs over gender and color barriers. As a Howard University School of Law graduate, she became one of the few African American female attorneys of the time. With that came many defeats, but she showed her strength with a few powerful victories over Jim Crow laws. And from there, her law practice prospered. She went on to spearhead the female minister movement of the AME Church, combining her ministry with her law degree to fight for disadvantaged children and families. Woven throughout this memoir are Roundtree’s personal stories of struggling with the racism that was eating away at the country she loved and wanted to help. Roundtree is an American hero who makes this country beautiful.

Mighty Justice: My Life in Civil Rights By Dovey Johnson Roundtree, Katie McCabe, Tayari Jones (Foreword by) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616209551
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Algonquin Books - November 5th, 2019

Out Of Darkness, Shining Light by Petina Gappah

Staff Pick

Many books have been written about the Scottish missionary, Dr. David Livingstone, and his travels deep into the heart of Central Africa in search of the source of the Nile River. There's also been brief mentions of two of his guides, Chuma and Susi, through his journeys. But what Zimbabwean writer Petina Gappah's newest novel, Out Of Darkness, Shining Light (Scribner, $27), gives us is a beautiful reimagining of the explorer’s entire entourage—the group that respectfully carries his body, papers, and maps 1,500 miles across the continent to the Eastern coast of Africa so he could be delivered to his birth home and legal family. The narrative focuses on Halima, still a slave to a harsh man named Amoda, and Jacob Wainwright, a freed slave. Through their distinctive voices we come to understand the different and often contradictory qualities of Bwana Daudi—as they call Dr. Livingstone—and gain a new and more complex awareness of the man behind the legend.

Out of Darkness, Shining Light: A Novel By Petina Gappah Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982110338
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - September 10th, 2019