Sahara is Not Okay. Entering her sophomore year, she already feels like a failure: her body is too much, her love life is nonexistent, she's not Nigerian enough for her family, her grades are subpar, and, well, the few Black classmates she has are vanishing—or dying. Sahara herself is close to giving up: depression has been her longtime "Life Partner." She believes that this narrative—taking the form of an irreverent, no-holds-barred "thesis" addressed to the powerful University Committee that will judge her—may be her last chance to document the Unfortunates' experience before she joins their ranks...But maybe, just maybe, she and her complex community of BIPOC women aren't ready to go out without a fight.
Thanks to Sahara’s creative eye and clever wit, her work resists ceremonious academic airs ... This thesis is not just a kind of Dear John letter to the world of white academia; it’s a farewell letter too ... Sahara is so open that her words feel like a diary — yet even in this presumed safe space, she’s still mindful of being too honest ... Moments of mirth are outweighed by the despair Sahara hides from everyone in her life.
Chukwu has written an extraordinary coming-of-age novel, with a fascinating protagonist and a tone that is just right for her material. The book’s dark atmosphere is enhanced by the presence of the author’s own black-and-white illustrations.
An exhilarating work of experimental metafiction ... An electrifying read that’s meant to disrupt and disturb; as a result, it can be deeply uncomfortable and disheartening. Yet despite the novel’s sobering subject matter, it is not devoid of hope or humor.