Book Review: Dear Senthuran by Akwaeke Emezi

“What do you do when your life turns into this breaking and resetting of bone, of spirit, of self, of reality?”

Someone recently told me that the word they think of when they meet Igbo people is ‘warrior’. As an Igbo person, it made complete sense to me, and reading Akwaeke Emezi’s book further reminded me of that.

Dear Senthuran is a book that maps out a journey of transformation and the self-reflection and overcoming of darkness that it requires. It is a book of community, riddled with letters written to fellow world-bending friends as well as a book that shares knowledge and spells to any reader who finds it.

Emezi is not just a gifted writer, they are a fearless ọgbanje who by the end of the book appears to settle into their fearlessness, realising that it has always lived within them. That is what I felt when I read this book. At times I also felt as if I was reading an older, wiser version of myself, fragments that wrung so true that I had to reread and fiercely mark many pages. 

This book changed my life and came to me at a time my soul desperately needed it. It reminded me that the world is scattered with magic and special people who bring the world to their centre so very well. I recommend everyone to read Dear Senthuran, to then read Freshwater, to just fully immerse yourself in Emezi’s world.

Distinguished Diva

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