Speak No Evil
By Uzodinma Iweala
In the long-anticipated novel from the author of the critically acclaimed Beasts of No Nation, a revelation shared between two privileged teenagers from very different backgrounds sets off a chain of events with devastating consequences
'Elegant and elegiac' Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Guardian
'A writer of spectacular talent' Observer
On the surface, Niru leads a charmed life. Raised by two attentive parents in Washington, DC, he's a top student and a track star at his prestigious private high school. Bound for Harvard, his prospects are bright. But Niru has a painful secret: he is queer - an abominable sin to his conservative Nigerian parents. No one knows except his best friend, Meredith - the one person who seems not to judge him.
When his father accidentally finds out, the fallout is brutal and swift. Coping with troubles of her own, however, Meredith finds that she has little left emotionally to offer him. As the two friends struggle to reconcile their desires against the expectations and institutions that seek to define them, they find themselves speeding towards a future more violent and senseless than they can imagine. Neither will escape unscathed.
Speak No Evil is a novel about the power of words and self-identification, about who gets to speak and who has the power to speak for other people.
Uzodinma Iweala received the 2006 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for Beasts of No Nation. In 2007, he was selected as one of Granta's Best Young American Novelists. A graduate of Harvard University and the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, he lives in New York City and Lagos, Nigeria.
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- Publication date:
08 Mar 2018
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A memorable book from an important talent — Guardian
A finely observed coming-of-age story . . . an emotional eloquence that reveals the awful power of love and guilt — Mail on Sunday
The soul of Speak No Evil is the tortuous, exquisitely rendered relationship between Niru and his father — New Yorker
Stunning — Vogue
Tackling race, gender and violence, it's a sharp burst of emotion — Stylist
Speak No Evil is the rarest of novels: the one you start out just to read, then end up sinking so deeply into it, seeing yourself so clearly in it, that the novel starts reading you — Marlon James
A lovely slender volume that packs in entire worlds with complete mastery. Speak No Evil explains so much about our times and yet is never anything less than a scintillating, page-turning read — Gary Shteyngart, author of Little Failure
A wrenching, tightly woven story about many kinds of love and many kinds of violence. Speak No Evil probes deeply but also with compassion the cruelties of a loving home. Iweala's characters confront you in close-up, as viscerally, bodily alive as any in contemporary fiction — Larissa MacFarquhar
A quietly tragic triumph — Financial Times
A craftily written heart-wrencher, it explores what it means to be black and queer in today's USA — Independent, Best LGBT novels to look out for in 2018
Elegant and elegiac, and evokes Washington DC with subtle power — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Guardian
That Iweala is a writer of spectacular talent is without question — Observer