Akwaeke Emezi’s acclaimed You Made a Fool of Death With Your Beauty is a novel for a different kind of reader. Emezi does not let a signal detail of their characters’ loves escape our notice.
Feyi, a young artist living in New York, has struggled to recover from the death of her husband Jonah. Five years after that defining loss, she pursues a rapid series of lovers and bedfellows, wary of the long relationship which would betray her husband. Yet Emezi’s novel does not go much beyond that; brief moments of emotional tenderness are blotted out by the portentous descriptions of night-time exploits and instantaneous crushes. The language is almost free of nuance. If you want an easy romance, it’s an easy read. Ultimately, though, not a page of this novel manages to strike home.
Patrick Maxwell is a journalist and writer.
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