Feb 26, 2020

Freshwater - Reminder and Questions for Friday's Discussion

written by Clarence

A friendly reminder that the next meeting of the Otherland Mythic Fiction Book Club will occur on Friday, February 28, 7:30 p.m. at the Otherland bookshop in Kreuzberg. The novel we’ll be discussing—Freshwater, the highly acclaimed 2018 autobiographical debut by writer Akwaeke Emezi. Offering up a multi- perspective narrative, the Nigerian-born author stated in a 2019 New York Times interview that Freshwater is “based in indigenous West African ontology” and features a main character, Ada, who is “a spirit trapped in flesh.” To see a range of interviews from the author, helping to provide perspective on the text, please visit https://www.akwaeke.com/interviews
Here are some questions to help facilitate discussion on the story. We hope you can join us!

*What genre or genres would you place this book in? What are ways in which the book defies notions of traditional categorization?

*As a character who journeys through different cultures and locales, both literal and metaphysical, what aspects of Ada’s travels did you find the most compelling?

*What are your thoughts on the presentation of the entities held in Ada’s spirit/psyche? Whose presence felt the most compelling and why?

*How would you describe the characterization of Asughara? What were her motivations for her actions in the narrative?

*The contrast between traditional West African concepts of spirit selves are contrasted here with Western notions of mental health. What was your take on the book’s concept of multiple selves? Do you believe in the concept of multiple selves existing even in the absence of trauma?

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