One Book One Bronx in collaboration with Beyond Words Book Club and Lagos Live! will host simultaneous multi-venue conversations on Akwaeke Emezi’s The Death of Vivek Oji.
Named a Best Book of 2020 by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, USA TODAY, Vanity Fair, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Shondaland, Teen Vogue, Vulture, Lit Hub, Bustle, Electric Literature, and BookPage, the conversations, and panel will examine the many elements of The Death of Vivek Oji that galvanize memory, identity, and familial bonds. Scheduled over several dates on Zoom and in person, this project reimagines how a community of readers can serve the cultural good.
- All dates are free and open to the public
- Choose the venue that fits your availability
On Zoom • Hosted by Beyond Words Book Club
One Book One Bronx will join Beyond Words Book Club for a joint virtual discussion
- Wednesday, October 05, 07:00 p.m.: Chapters 1-6 (pages 1-49)
- Wednesday, October 12, 2022, 07:00 p.m.: Chapters 7-12 (pages 50-116)
- Wednesday, October 19, 2022, 07:00 pm: Chapters 13-18 (pages 117-179)
- Saturday, October 22, 2022, 02:00 p.m.: Chapters 19-24 (pages 180-245)
In Person • Hosted by One Book One Bronx
- James Baldwin Outdoor Learning Center Farmers’ Market
- Goulden & Sedgwick Avenues (DeWitt Clinton High School Campus)
- Free copies of The Death of Vivek Oji will be distributed to the first 20 participants.
- Saturday, October 08, 2022, 01:00 p.m.: (introductions and free books)
- Saturday, October 15, 2022, 01:00 p.m.: Chapters 1-8 (pages 1-87)
- Saturday, October 22, 2022, 02:00 p.m.: Chapters 9-17 (pages 88-161) On Zoom
- Saturday, October 29, 2022, 01:00 p.m.: Chapters 18-24 (pages 162-245)
Virtual Panel Discussion
The Sexuality of Vivek Oji
Thursday, October 20, 2022, 07:00 p.m.
How can a deeper exploration of this book bring us closer to the issues that affected the short life of Vivek Oji? The panel will focus on the book’s different themes: parent-child relationships, sexuality, queerphobia, and masculinity and how they manifest in communities of color.
What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew?
One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives; foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.
Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.
About The Book Club & One Book One Bronx
Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education invites neighbors to come together and (re)spark a love of reading. The book club normally meets in its 6th floor Gallery and hosts vibrant community-focused conversations that build a love of books and reading. The Casita Maria Book Club is presented in partnership with One Book One Bronx.
One Book One Bronx is a new style book club that inspires, encourages, and delights readers. Every week, we meet to discuss books that reflect the people of the Bronx. The book club seeks to build a culture of reading and is free to join. Please visit here for information on starting a book club at your community-based organization.
Discussions are free and open to the public. By registering you are giving the hosts permission to possibly use your image on our social media platforms. Book club discussions are held in English only at this time.
One Book One Bronx is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, donations, and Citizens Committee of New York City.
About Casita Maria Center For Arts & Education
Casita Maria Center For Arts & Education is the first and oldest Latino 501(c)(3) charity in NYC, founded in 1934.
The South Bronx-based community arts and educational organization presents diverse, contemporary visual and performing arts and education programming for all ages.
Casita Maria creates a safe and welcoming community, enriching and uplifting youth and families towards success, through shared cultural, art and educational experiences and programs.
Casita Maria Center For Arts & Education
928 Simpson Street
Bronx, NY 10459