Nnedi Okorafor

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General Information

Name: Nnedi Okorafor

Pen Name: Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu

Genres: Fiction


Website: nnedi.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nnedi

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nnedi

Blog: http://nnedi.blogspot.com/rss.xml

Email: nnedimma@gmail.com

Illinois Connection

Okorafor graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor High School and from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1996 with her Bachelor's degree. She went on to receive her Masters in English from the University of Illinois, Chicago and in 2007, received a Ph.D. in English from there as well. She was a professor of creative writing at Chicago State University from 2008 through 2014.

Biographical and Professional Information

Nnedi Okorafor is a Nigerian-American novelist of African-based science fiction, fantasy and magical realism for both children and adults. She is known for weaving African culture into creative evocative settings and memorable characters.

Formerly known by her married name of: Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, she no longer goes by that name even though some of her earlier works are written under it.

Nnedi holds a PhD in literature/creative writing and has been a full professor at the University at Buffalo, New York (SUNY) since 2014. She currently splits her time between Buffalo, New York and Olympia Fields, Illinois.

In 2017, Okorafor's book Who Fears Death, has been optioned by HBO & is now in early development as a TV series with Game of Thrones author, George RR Martin as executive producer.

Published Works

Written under the name: Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu:

  • Zahrah the Windseeker, Houghton Mifflin, 2005
  • The Shadow Speaker, Hyperion, 2007

Written under the name: Nnedi Okorafor:

  • Long Juju Man, Macmillan Education, 2009
  • Without A Map, Aqueduct Press, 2010 - written with Mary Anne Mohanraj
  • Who Fears Death, DAW Trade, 2010
  • Kabu Kabu, Prime Books, 2013
  • The Book of Phoenix, DAW, 2015
  • Chicken in the Kitchen, Lantana, 2015
  • Lagoon, Simon and Schuster, 2015
  • The Book of Phoenix, DAW, 2016

The Akata Series:

  • Akata Witch, Viking, 2011
  • Akata Warrior, Viking, 2017

The Binti Series:

  • Binti, Tor, 2015
  • Home, Tor, 2017
  • The Night Masquerade, Tor, 2018

Titles at Your Library

Zahrah the Windseeker

ISBN: 0547020287
Release Date: 2008-02-18

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The Shadow Speaker

ISBN: 1423100336
Release Date: 2007-10-02

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Long Juju Man

ISBN: 0230722075
Release Date: 2009-05-05

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Without A Map

ISBN: 1933500417
Release Date: 2010-06-01

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Who Fears Death

ISBN: 0756406692
Release Date: 2011-06-07

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Kabu Kabu

ISBN: 160701405X
Release Date: 2013-10-15

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The Book of Phoenix

ISBN: 0756410193
Release Date: 2015-05-05

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Chicken in the Kitchen

ISBN: 0993225306
Release Date: 2015-10-12

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Akata Witch

ISBN: 0670011967
Release Date: 2011-04-14

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Akata Warrior

ISBN: 067078561X
Release Date: 2017-10-03

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ISBN: 0765385252
Release Date: 2015-09-22

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Binti: Home

ISBN: 0765393115
Release Date: 2017-01-31

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Binti: The Night Masquerade

ISBN: 0765393131
Release Date: 2018-01-16

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Literary Awards

Zahara the Windseeker

  • Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature, 2008
  • Finalist, Garden State Teen Choice Award, 2008
  • Finalist, Parallax Award, 2005
  • Finalist, Kindred Award, 2005
  • Finalist, Golden Duck Award, 2005
  • Finalist, The Locus Award for Best First Novel
  • Black Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Literature in Fiction, 2012

The Shadow Speaker

  • Finalist, Andre Norton Award
  • Finalist, Essence Magazine Literary Award, 2008
  • Honor Book, Tiptree
  • Finalist, Golden Duck Award
  • Winter Booksense Pick, 2007/2008
  • CCBC Choice, 2008
  • Locus Magazine Recommended Book
  • Parallax Award
  • Amelia Bloomer Project Book

Long JuJu Man

  • Writers' Prize for Africa, Macmillan

Who Fears Death

  • World Fantasy Award for Best Fantasy Novel, 2011
  • Carl Brandon Kindred Award, 2010
  • RT Reviewer’s Choice Best Book Award (Science Fiction), 2010
  • Finalist, Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel, 2010
  • Tiptree Honor Book, 2011
  • Finalist, Black Excellence Award , 2010
  • Publishers Weekly Best Book, 2010
  • Amazon.com Best Book, 2010
  • Library School Journal Best Book, 2010
  • Top Pick, RT Reviews
  • Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
  • Starred Review, Library Journal

The Akata Series

  • Finalist, Andre Norton Award for Best Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy
  • Best Book of the Year, Amazon.com, 2011
  • Best Book of the Year, YALSA, 2011
  • Junior Library Guild Selection

Kabu Kabu

  • Publisher's Weekly Best Book for Fall, 2013
  • Finalist, Locus Award for Best Collection

The Book of Phoenix

  • Finalist, Arthur C. Clarke Award
  • Finalist, Sputnik Award
  • Finalist, Campbell Memorial Award

The Binti Series

  • Nebula Award for Best Novella
  • Finalist, Hugo Award for Best Novella
  • Finalist, British Science Fiction Association Award (Best Short)
  • BooktubeSFF Award for Best Short Work (Popular Vote)
  • Finalist, Locus Award (Best Novella)

Chicken in the Kitchen

  • Children’s Africana Book Award for Best Book for Young Readers, 2016


  • Finalist, British Science Fiction Association Award (Best Novel)
  • Finalist, Red Tentacle Award (Best Novel)
  • Finalist, SFX Award (Best Novel)
  • Finalist, Tiptree Award
  • ILLINOIS READS Book Selection, Illinois Reading Council, 2017

The Book of Phoenix

  • Finalist, Arthur C. Clarke Award
  • Finalist, John W. Campbell Memorial Award
  • Finalist, Sputnik Award

Speaking Engagements and Upcoming Appearances

Speaking Engagement Availability: (Yes)

To arrange a speaking engagement contact Dawn Stuart at Books in Common, 541-318-6288.

Literary Agent: Don Maass.

External Links

Nnedi Okorafor on WorldCat


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