You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty: A Novel (Paperback)
June 2022 Indie Next List
“I love a book that gets under my skin. This is one such book, of a woman trying to hold her grief without letting it engulf her, messy and lovely in its rawness. If you want to read something to make you feel grateful to be alive, pick this book.”
— Emma Nichols, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT
A Good Morning America Buzz Pick
“A love story like no other, and this one…will have you gripped from page one.” —Vogue
“An unabashed ode to living with, and despite, pain and mortality.” —The New York Times Book Review
A New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and “one of our greatest living writers” (Shondaland) reimagines the love story in this “riveting and emotional exploration of grief and taking a second chance on love” (PopSugar).
Feyi Adekola wants to learn how to be alive again.
It’s been five years since the accident that killed the love of her life and she’s almost a new person now—an artist with her own studio and sharing a brownstone apartment with her ride-or-die best friend, Joy, who insists it’s time for Feyi to ease back into the dating scene. Feyi isn’t ready for anything serious, but a steamy encounter at a rooftop party cascades into a whirlwind summer she could have never imagined: a luxury trip to a tropical island, decadent meals in the glamorous home of a celebrity chef, and a major curator who wants to launch her art career.
She’s even started dating the perfect guy, but their new relationship might be sabotaged before it has a chance by the overwhelming desire Feyi feels every time she locks eyes with the one person who is most definitely off-limits—his father. Can she release her past and honor her grief while still embracing her future? And, of course, there’s the biggest question of all—how far is she willing to go for a second chance at love?
“With tenderhearted characters and an immaculate balance of realistic dialogue and lyrical prose” (BuzzFeed), Akwake Emezi’s vivid and passionate writing takes us deep into a world of possibility and healing. You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty is a “a love letter to the brave choices we make in the name of love, the costs we pay for it, and the glory of the reward at the end” (Marie Claire).
About the Author
Akwaeke Emezi (they/them) is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Death of Vivek Oji, which was a finalist for the Dylan Thomas Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the PEN/Jean Stein Award; Pet, a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, a Walter Honor Book, and a Stonewall Honor Book; Freshwater, which was named a New York Times Notable Book and shortlisted for the PEN/Hemingway Award, the New Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award, the Lambda Literary Award, and the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize; Dear Senthuran: A Black Spirit Memoir, which won the 2022 ALA Stonewall Prize for Best Nonfiction Book; and most recently, Content Warning: Everything, their debut poetry collection, and Bitter, their second young adult novel. Selected as a 5 Under 35 honoree by the National Book Foundation and featured on a Time cover as a Next Generation Leader, they are based in liminal spaces.
“[A]n unabashed ode to living with, and despite, pain and mortality…and it could appeal especially to people who, living through an isolating pandemic that has accelerated loss, hunger for more joie de vivre.”
— R.O. KWON, New York Times Book Review
"A deeply heartfelt romance novel...a love letter to the brave choices we make in the name of love, the costs we pay for it, and the glory of the reward at the end."
— Marie Claire
"A riveting and emotional exploration of grief and taking a second chance on love."
"You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty is one incredible romance you won’t want to miss!"
"This contemporary romance [is] filled with Akwaeke Emezi's powerful and beautiful writing."
— Business Insider
"Emezi once again absolutely slays a new-for-them genre, with tenderhearted characters and an immaculate balance of realistic dialogue and lyrical prose."
"A sharply original novel about love, friendship and the journey grief takes...For anyone who's been feeling a little lost, let this book give you some inspiration."
— Good Housekeeping
"Fans of Emezi’s previous work will find comfort in the writer’s striking prose and well-layered characters but will also revel in the author’s bold first attempts at romance. At once a love story and a tale of deep grief, the novel beautifully displays the bravery of choosing love even in times of total despair."
"This is sure to tug at readers’ heartstrings."
— Publishers Weekly
"A scorching tale of love after loss."
— Kirkus Reviews
“[A] steamy and sexy read (as in, shut the book if your kids walk into the room) that also has tremendous heart.”
— Real Simple
"Emezi is a dream of a writer. My heart soared and shook and panted. A rich, complex, beautiful love story, exquisitely told. Emezi builds worlds and characters that you just want to marinate in."
— Bolu Babalola, Sunday Times bestselling author of Love in Color and Honey & Spice
"Emezi has created a dazzling celebration of the messiness of living and feeling with their signature gift for articulating characters' inner voices in raw and expressive detail. Couple that with a thrilling story of forbidden love, and Emezi has created a seductive and powerful novel that will make readers feel renewed."
— Booklist (starred review)
"[A]n elegant take on the modern love story....a stunning portrait of one woman’s search for beauty and life after trauma, and is an enjoyable read for anyone looking to pick up a book this spring."
— The Harvard Crimson
"Sexy, complex, and moving."
— Library Journal
"A once-in-a-generation voice."
"One of our greatest living writers."
"Their talent is clearly divine."
“Emezi can write a love story like no other, and this one…will have you gripped from page one.” –Vogue