Speak No Evil

Speak No Evil

Book - 2018
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"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

"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

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.

On the surface, Niru leads a charmed life. Raised by two attentive parents in Washington, D.C., he's a top student and a track star at his prestigious private high school. Bound for Harvard in the fall, 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 Meredith, his best friend, the daughter of prominent Washington insiders--and the one person who seems not to judge him.

When his father accidentally discovers Niru is gay, 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 toward a future more violent and senseless than they can imagine. Neither will escape unscathed.

In the tradition of Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Americanah, Speak No Evil explores what it means to be different in a fundamentally conformist society and how that difference plays out in our inner and outer struggles. It 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. As heart-wrenching and timely as his breakout debut, Beasts of No Nation, Uzodinma Iweala's second novel cuts to the core of our humanity and leaves us reeling in its wake.

A 2018 Indie Next Pick | One of The Millions' Most Anticipated Books of 2018 | One of Bustle's 35 Most Anticipated Fiction Books Of 2018 | One of Paste's 25 Most Anticipated Books of 2018 | One of The Boston Globe's 25 Books We Can't Wait to Read in 2018

Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, c2018
ISBN: 9780061284922
Branch Call Number: FIC IWEA
Characteristics: 214 pages ; 24 cm


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rudebekia Aug 11, 2018

Niru and Meredith are best friends. While they attend the same elite private school in Washington, DC, and both have parents that are accomplished and well off, they come from families that don't share many values. Niru's family is Nigerian, conservative, and devoutly Christian, and his parents are very active in their children's lives. Meredith's family is white, socially privileged, and her parents are permissive and largely absent. Set during the spring of their senior year, this could have been a typical Young Adult novel were love conquers all. But for Niru, the fact that he's black, has different family cultural values, and gay serve to put him in conflict with law enforcement, Meredith, and his father. The book ends in heartbreak for all who live through this season.

Jul 11, 2018

Couldn't put it down! Check out the author's very short video about the book here:


Jul 10, 2018

Niru and Meredith's relationship allows readers to see how two people from very different backgrounds can still have respect, admiration and understanding for one another. Both characters are grappling with self-conflict as well as family discord. Though, the friendship hits a bump in the road the pair are drawn to each other for reassurance. The story speaks of family expectations, friendship, acceptance, rejection, sexuality and racial profiling. The author gives us an unexpected surprise that is tragic but familiar in our social climate.

Jun 26, 2018

At first I thought this was another YA teen angst, boy discovering sexuality, girl in love with someone who can't love her back story, which it is, but it comes with a very big punch to the breadbasket. What follows is a disjointed accounting of the aftermath that is a reflection of the effects the incident has taken on Meredith. There are a lot of ananswered questions but although my curiousity is not satisfied the impact on my emotions is just what I believe the author intended. Very well done.

ArapahoeAnnaL Apr 27, 2018

A moving, tragic story of pride and love both forbidden and unrequited love. A quick read that packs a punch and speaks to issues regarding homophobia, racial profiling, the over-riding need to protect social status, and generational differences. An emotional sad story and an enlightening journey.

Apr 25, 2018

Harvard-bound, Niru is the son of Nigerian immigrants with high expectations and strict religious values. When they discover that he had plans to meet up with another boy even though he didn't go through with it, it causes a lot of problems for him at home. This tension between Niru and his parents forms the crux of the novel, but there is also his friendship with Meredith, who downloaded the app that led to the meet-up that didn't happen.

This was another 3-1/2 star book for me. There was something that just didn't connect for me. I wanted more of something. I'm sorry that I can't be more specific. I wanted to get deeper into Niru maybe?


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