Akwaeke Emezi’s Romance Novel Bought by Outlier Society in 7-Figure Film Deal

Written last year, You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty is about a Nigerian artist in love and grief. Outlier Society is Michael B. Jordan’s company.
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Akwaeke Emezi by Frances F. Denny.

Akwaeke Emezi by Frances F. Denny.

The Nigerian writer Akwaeke Emezi’s forthcoming romance novel has been bought by actor Michael B. Jordan’s Amazon-hosted production company Outlier Society, in a seven-figure deal. You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty will be published in 2022 by the Simon & Schuster imprint Atria.

Outlier Society beat eight other offers for the rights. Though Jordan’s new film Without Remorse began airing on Amazon Prime last week, You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty is the first major film property acquisition by the Black Panther star. Emezi will be executive producer for the project.

Here’s a synopsis of the novel as shared by Deadline:

The protagonist is a beautiful Nigerian 29-year-old aspiring artist in Brooklyn who loses her husband in a tragic accident.

While she grieves through her art, her life begins to turn around when she meets a handsome new man at a party and is given an introduction to a major curator who wants to launch her career into the art world.

But even as romance takes her to a beautiful estate in the Caribbean, she struggles with the challenge of balancing grief with the desire to move forward with her life.

In a Twitter post, Emezi revealed their romance novel was written last year. “To be made executive producer (again!) on YOU MADE A FOOL OF DEATH WITH YOUR BEAUTY is an utter dream,” they wrote.

A National Book Foundation “5 Under 35” honoree, Akwaeke Emezi was born in Umuahia and raised in Aba, Nigeria. They are the author of the novels Freshwater, PET, and The Death of Vivek Oji. Their forthcoming works includes debut books of nonfiction and poetry: Dear Senthuran (A Black Spirit Memoir), from Riverhead Books (June 2021), and Content Warning: Everything, from Copper Canyon Press (2022).

Emmanuel Esomnofu
Emmanuel Esomnofu is a staff writer at Open Country Mag. He is a culture journalist and has written extensively on Nigerian music and on several moving parts of popular culture. His writing appears online in Native Mag, Okay Africa, Kalahari Review, Praxis Magazine, and elsewhere. He was published in print in The Muse, the oldest student journal in West Africa. In December 2020, he worked on "Fuji: A Opera" as a copywriter, creating informative and exciting stories from Fuji's rich history.

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