Book review: Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala
Niru’s future looks bright. Accepted early admittance to Harvard, he is a star on the track team at his prestigious Washington, D.C. high school and the dutiful second son of affluent Nigerian parents. But Niru is gay, and in Nigeria, that is an unpardonable sin. His father, still intensely loyal to his home country and and a deeply religious man, reacts with violent anger, going so far as to try to expunge, as he sees it, his son’s aberrant behavior and defiance. Niru attempts to obey his family’s wishes, but when that becomes impossible, he is forced to make decisions that will change the course of his life. His best friend, Meredith, is also leading what appears, at first glance, to be a charmed life. She can see a future with Niru — after graduating Harvard, they will go on to postgraduate and doctoral studies, eventually moving in together, then getting married — but Niru’s revelation to her knocks her off course. An emotional, gripping narrative, this long-anticipated novel by the author of the acclaimed “Beasts of No Nation,” is not only a coming of age story for our time, it’s also an impossible to put down contemporary thriller.
— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons of The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury.
8 More new fiction books from Nigeria
Freshwater, by Akwaeke Emezi
Stay with Me, by Ayobami Adebayo
Born on a Tuesday, by Elnathan John
Season of Crimson Blossoms, by Abubakar Adam Ibrahim
Taduno’s Song, by Odafe Atogun
Easy Motion Tourist, by Leye Adenle
Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun, by Sarah Ladipo Manyika
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