Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala
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.
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 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
'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 writer of spectacular talent’ - Observer
Publication Date: 7 February 2019