Nnedi Okorafor

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Nnedi Okorafor
Nnedi books (2).JPG
Nnedi Okorafor
Born (1974-04-08) April 8, 1974 (age 40)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Nationality Nigerian American
Field Writer, professor
Awards Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa
The World Fantasy Award
Macmillan Writers Prize for Africa
Carl Brandon Parallax Award

Nnedi Okorafor (full name: Nnedimma Nkemdili Okorafor (also previously known as Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu) is a Nigerian-American writer of fantasy, science fiction, and speculative fiction.

Background and personal life[edit]

The American-born daughter of Igbo Nigerian parents, she has regularly visited Nigeria since she was very young. Her novels and stories reflect both her West African heritage and her American life. Okorafor is a 2001 graduate of the Clarion Writers Workshop in Lansing, Michigan, and holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Illinois, Chicago. She is a professor of creative writing at Chicago State University and lives with her family in Illinois.

Works and critical reception[edit]

Okorafor received a 2001 Hurston-Wright literary award[1] for her story "Amphibious Green." She then published two acclaimed books for young adults, The Shadow Speaker (Hyperion/Disney Book Group) and Zahrah the Windseeker (Houghton Mifflin). Zahrah won the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa. It was also shortlisted for the 2005 Carl Brandon Parallax and Kindred Awards and a finalist for the Garden State Teen Book Award and the Golden Duck Award. The Shadow Speaker was a winner of the Carl Brandon Parallax Award, a Booksense Pick for Winter 2007/2008, a Tiptree Honor Book,[2] a finalist for the Essence Magazine Literary Award, the Andre Norton Award and the Golden Duck Award and an NAACP Image Award nominee. Okorafor's children's book Long Juju Man was the 2007–08 winner of the Macmillan Writer’s Prize for Africa.[3]

Okorafor's first adult novel, Who Fears Death (DAW/Penguin Books), won the 2011 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel,[4] was a 2011 Tiptree Honor Book and was nominated for the 2010 Nebula Award.[5] In 2011 she returned to young adult with Akata Witch (Viking/Penguin), which was a Junior Library Guild Selection, and nominated for the Andre Norton Award. It was also on the American Library Association's Amelia Bloomer Project list honoring children's books with feminist themes.

Okorafor's short stories have been published in anthologies and magazines, including Dark Matter: Reading The Bones, Strange Horizons, Moondance magazine, and Writers of the Future Volume XVIII. A collection of her stories, titled Kabu Kabu, was published by Prime Books in 2013. It includes the titular piece, co-authored by Alan Dean Foster, and six other previously unpublished short stories, as well as 14 stories that had been previously published in other venues since 2001, and a foreword by Whoopi Goldberg.[6]

In 2009 Okorafor donated her archive to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) Collection of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at the Northern Illinois University Library.[7]

Gary K. Wolfe wrote of her work: "Okorafor’s genius has been to find the iconic images and traditions of African culture, mostly Nigerian and often Igbo, and tweak them just enough to become a seamless part of her vocabulary of fantastika ... " [8]

In February 2014, it was announced that Okorafor would be Young Adult Author special Guest of Honor at Detcon 1, the 2014 North American Science Fiction Convention; and that Detcon1 would be putting special emphasis on YA science fiction.[9]

Bibliography[edit]

Young Adult - writing as Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu

Children - writing as Nnedi Okorafor

Young Adult - writing as Nnedi Okorafor

Adult - writing as Nnedi Okorafor

Selected Filmography[edit]

  • Brave New Souls: Black Sci-Fi & Fantasy Writers of the 21st Century (2013) - Herself [10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hurston/Wright Award for College Writers: Recent Winners
  2. ^ 2007 Tiptree Award Honor List
  3. ^ Macmillan Writer's Prize for Africa: 2007/8 Winners and Shortlist
  4. ^ "2011 WFA Winner: Who Fears Death". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  5. ^ "2010 Award Winners". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  6. ^ Brit Mandelo. "We All Tell Stories About Her: Kabu Kabu by Nnedi Okorafor". Tor.com. Retrieved 2014-2-06. 
  7. ^ Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) Collection, Northern Illinois University
  8. ^ Gary K. Wolfe reviews Nnedi Okorafor, Locus Online, 22 December 2013
  9. ^ "Nnedi Okorafor to be Young Adult Author Special Guest at Detcon1" Detcon website; February 10, 2014
  10. ^ Obensen, Tambay, "Sneak Peek: 'Brave New Souls: Black Sci-Fi & Fantasy Writers of the 21st Century'

External links[edit]