Science fiction is the only genre that allows African writers to envision a future from our African perspective – Nnedi Okorafor


Country: Nigeria/America

Why We Love Her: Nnedi’s writing is stylistically unique, she draws on traditional African mythologies to create African science fiction, magic realism and fantasy. She has incredible range, writing compelling children’s books, YA and adult fiction too. Her thrilling imagination, the palpable tension and pacing of her stories make her work a joy to read and have attracted a huge fan base.

“You know how the story ends. He escaped and went on to become the greatest chief Suntown ever had. He never built a shrine or a temple or even a shack in the name of Tia. In the Great Book, her name is never mentioned again. He never mused about her or even asked where she was buried. Tia was a virgin. She was beautiful. She was poor. And she was a girl. It was her duty to sacrifice her life for his.”
― Nnedi OkoraforWho Fears Death

Binti-Nnedi-OkoraforHer books are always bold in premise; she has published Binti, an award-winning space opera novella, about a student facing the dangers of travelling to study at the finest university in the galaxy and a highly-anticipated sequel to it is forthcoming. Lagoon, using multiple perspectives, charts the cataclysmic events that occur when aliens crash into Lagos, and Who Fears Death is a magical realism novel about a young girl with magical powers born into post-apocalyptic Africa, trying to change her circumstances. The latter made her 1st black person to win the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel since its inception in 1975. Lagoon image

Nnedi is currently working with Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu (Pumzi) on a feature film – Camel Racer with Triggerfish Animation Studios (South Africa). She is also professor of creative writing and literature at the University of Buffalo. You can find her on Twitter (@Nnedi) documenting  weird and wonderful flora and fauna as well as her creative process.

“Adaora was beginning to see why Ayodele’s people had chosen the city of Lagos. If they’d landed in New York, Tokyo or London, the governments of these places would have quickly swooped to hide, isolate and study the aliens. Here in Lagos, there was no such order.”
― Nnedi OkoraforLagoon


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