Nnedi Okorafor

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Nnedi Okorafor
Nnedi Okorafor.jpg
Nnedi Okorafor
Born (1974-04-08) April 8, 1974 (age 45)
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
NationalityNigerian American
Alma materUniversity of Illinois, Chicago (PhD)
Known forWriter, professor
AwardsWole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa
The World Fantasy Award
Nebula Award for Best Novella
Hugo Award for Best Novella
Macmillan Writers Prize for Africa
Carl Brandon Parallax Award
Children’s Africana Book Award

Nnedi Okorafor (full name: Nnedimma Nkemdili Okorafor; also known as Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu; born April 8, 1974)[1] is a Nigerian-American writer. She writes fantasy and science fiction.

Background and personal life[change | change source]

Okrafor was born in the United States. Her parents are members of the Igbo group from Nigeria. She has visited Nigeria many times since she was very young. While she studied Homewood-Flossmoor High School in Flossmoor, Ill., Okorafor was a good tennis player and did very well studying science. Later, she found out she had scoliosis. This condition and surgery to fix it ended Okorafor's student athletic career. It made it difficult for her to walk. She started writing as a hobby while she recovered from surgery. Her novels and stories show both her West African life and her American life. In 2001 Okorafor graduated of the Clarion Writers Workshop in Lansing, Michigan. She earned a PhD in English from the University of Illinois, Chicago. She is an associate professor of creative writing and literature at the University at Buffalo (SUNY). She lives in both Buffalo and Olympia Fields, Illinois[2] with her family.

Writing and awards[change | change source]

Okorafor received a 2001 Hurston-Wright literary award[3] for her story "Amphibious Green." She then published two books for young adults, The Shadow Speaker (Hyperion/Disney Book Group) and Zahrah the Windseeker (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Zahrah won the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa. The Shadow Speaker was a winner of the Carl Brandon Parallax Award, a Booksense Pick for Winter 2007/2008, a Tiptree Honor Book,[4] Okorafor's children's book Long Juju Man was the 2007–08 winner of the Macmillan Writer's Prize for Africa.[5]

Okorafor's first novel for adults, Who Fears Death (DAW/Penguin Books), won the 2011 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel,[6] was a 2011 Tiptree Honor Book and was nominated for the 2010 Nebula Award.[7]

Okorafor's short stories have been published in books and magazines, including Dark Matter: Reading The Bones, Strange Horizons, Moondance magazine, and Writers of the Future Volume XVIII. A collection of her stories, called Kabu Kabu, was published by Prime Books in 2013. It includes the story Kabu Kabu that she wrote with Alan Dean Foster. Whoopi Goldberg wrote the foreword to the book.[8]

Writing[change | change source]

Young Adult—writing as Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu

Children— writing as Nnedi Okorafor

Young Adult—writing as Nnedi Okorafor

Adult—writing as Nnedi Okorafor

Films[change | change source]

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


References[change | change source]

  1. "Nnedi Okorafor", Macmillan Publishers.
  2. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor, Hardcover | Barnes & Noble® Retrieved 2017-02-19.
  3. "Welcome to www.hurston-wright.org". Retrieved July 31, 2016.
  4. "2007 James Tiptree, Jr. Award". Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  5. "Winners and Shortlist: Macmillan Writer's Prize for Africa 2007/8". writeforafrica.com. Archived from the original on March 30, 2009. Retrieved August 2, 2016. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  6. "2011 WFA Winner: Who Fears Death". Worlds Without End. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
  7. "2010 Award Winners". Worlds Without End. Retrieved October 31, 2011.
  8. Mandelo, Brit. "We All Tell Stories About Her: Kabu Kabu by Nnedi Okorafor". Tor.com. Retrieved February 6, 2014.
  9. Hartmann, Ivor W., ed. (2012). AfroSF: Science Fiction by African Writers. StoryTime. ASIN B00AEUH112.
  10. Obensen, Tambay A. (July 2013). "Sneak Peek: 'Brave New Souls: Black Sci-Fi & Fantasy Writers of the 21st Century'". IndieWire.

Other websites[change | change source]