Last year, we featured Akwaeke Emezi’s debut novel Freshwater in JARO’s curated list of books to read by women of color in 2018. After becoming a finalist for the prestigious PEN/Hemingway Award for a Debut Novel and receiving various other accolades, Freshwater is now in early development for television by FX.
According to Variety, who first reported the news, Emezi will be heavily involved in the project as the writer and executive producer, alongside Tamara P. Carter (The Leftovers). Kevin Wandell and Lindsey Donahue will oversee the project through FX Productions.
Freshwater is a unique and haunting novel that explores the spiritual realm and identity. The series focuses on Ada, a Nigerian student in her senior year of college whose life is drastically changed when she realizes that she has three spirits living in her subconscious mind. As they take control over her, her sanity and life as she once knew it is on the brink of no return. “Unsettling, heart-wrenching, dark, and powerful, Freshwater is a sharp evocation of a rare way of experiencing the world, one that illuminates how we all construct our identities,” reads the book’s official synopsis. The novel was also inspired by Emezi’s own experiences.
We’ve rarely seen such a deep concept about the spirit world displayed in a television series, aside from demonic entities and The Exorcist-style possession. Furthermore, having a young Nigerian woman at the heart of the series makes it all the more rare. We are thrilled to learn more about the upcoming Freshwater series, as this is an immensely compelling subject to bring into the mainstream.
If you’re similar to me and prefer to read the novel before watching a television/film adaptation, pick up a copy of Freshwater through Amazon or your local bookstore. To learn more about Akwaeke Emezi and her latest novels, please visit her official website.