We have a quick update on tomorrow’s book club meeting: Because of growing concerns over Hurricanes Marco and Laura approaching the Gulf Coast, where Akwaeke Emezi is based, we’ve decided to reschedule our meeting for a date in September. This way, Akwaeke can focus on their safety this week and we can ensure a more reliable digital connection at a later date.
We apologize for the change of plans, but hope this will give you a bit more time to spend with the marginalia in your copy of The Death of Vivek Oji. We’ll be in touch with the new date soon, and look forward to convening with you over virtual wavelengths!
Drumroll, please! This is your official save-the-date for the inaugural meeting of the MR Book Club—not just your average book-centric meet-up but a verifiable community-building, spirit-lifting, creativity-raising experience. Not only is this a unique chance to deeply commune with the spirits alight in the hugely affecting, beautifully composed The Death of Vivek Oji and its author, Akwaeke Emezi—it’s also an opportunity to meet the people sitting next to you, however virtually, and share your creativity with all of us. You (really, truly) don’t want to miss it. Now: You have questions? We have answers. (And if you’ve already made the exceptionally sound decision to come by, RSVP for the big night here.)
Remind me: Which book will we be discussing?
The inaugural book of the MR Club is Akwaeke Emezi’s The Death of Vivek Oji. Want a preview? Spend a little time with MR Book Club host Sarah Panlibuton Barnes’ interview with the author, in which (says Sarah) “Emezi and I discuss the ways that this novel tests us and asks us to come to the table, with a spicy tangent on tortured desire because you didn’t think I would be on the phone with the author of Vivek’s hot-ass sex scenes and not get a little PG-13.”
But maybe I’m already in three other book clubs. How is this one more than the usual ones?
Because it’s a community building practice—and more than that, a space to channel your own creative energy. Come dig into that at our Facebook group, where Sarah promises that “instead of just taking in the story, we will do experiments with visualization, mini art or journaling prompts, games that connect us to each other. I want to move our community out of the regular-degular internet friends who hang in the comments section to co-collaborators in the creation of our own intimate world.” And you thought this was just a book club! Sign up here.
I don’t know, sitting on another Zoom call….
Oh, but this will be so much more than that. For instance, there is a dress code. As Sarah puts it: “In The Death of Vivek Oji, Vivek’s friends form a kind of sacred circle around him, where he is free to explore, experiment, and to be understood on his own terms. In his friend Juju’s bedroom, Vivek adorns himself in flowing dresses and can wear a bold lip with the confidence that comes with knowing that he will be received with love and delight. This is the ‘warm room’ we visited with our time travel meditation in the beginning of the month. For the meetup, use your totem, let it take you back to your own warm room, and take inspiration from that moment. Dress the way you would dress in your most free, experimental, expression of yourself, as if no matter what you wore and who you were in those clothes, you knew you would be held in the light of your friends’ love.” Start getting creative now!
So when’s the big event?
Tuesday, August 25 at 7 p.m. ET. Here’s your RSVP link.
It’ll be better if I read the book. Where can I get it?
Right now, right here.
Graphics by Lorenza Centi.