Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Nnedi Okorafor  

Pen Name: Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult; Young Adult; Children;

Born:


-- Blog -- http://nnedi.blogspot.com/rss.xml
-- Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/nnedi
-- Twitter -- https://twitter.com/nnedi
-- Website -- http://nnedi.com
-- Nnedi Okorafor on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=nnedi+okorafor


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.


Selected Titles At Your Library

Zahrah the Windseeker /
ISBN: 0547020287. OCLC Number:

Houghton Mifflin,. Boston :. 2005.

Zahrah, a timid thirteen-year-old girl, undertakes a dangerous quest into the Forbidden Greeny Jungle to seek the antidote for her best friend after he is bitten by a snake, and finds knowledge, courage, and hidden powers along the way.

The shadow speaker /
ISBN: 1423100336. OCLC Number:

Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children,. New York :. 2007.

In West Africa in 2070, after fifteen-year-old "shadow speaker" Ejii witnesses her father's beheading, she embarks on a dangerous journey across the Sahara to find Jaa, her father's killer, and upon finding her, she also discovers a greater purpose to her life and to the mystical powers she possesses.

Long Juju Man /
ISBN: 0230722075. OCLC Number:

. .

Without a map /
ISBN: 1933500417. OCLC Number:

. .

Consists of an excerpt from a novel by Nnedi Okorafor and a mix of stories, poems, and essays by Mary Anne Mohanraj.

Who fears death /
ISBN: 0756406692. OCLC Number:

. .

In a far future, post-nuclear-holocaust Africa, genocide plagues one region. The aggressors, the Nuru, have decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke. But when the only surviving member of a slain Okeke village is brutally raped, she manages to escape, wandering farther into the desert. She gives birth to a baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand and instinctively knows that her daughter is different. She names her daughter Onyesonwu, which means "Who Fears Death?" in an ancient African tongue. Reared under the tutelage of a mysterious and traditional shaman, Onyesonwu discovers her magical destiny -- to end the genocide of her people. The journey to fulfill her destiny will force her to grapple with nature, tradition, history, true love, the spiritual mysteries of her culture -- and eventually death itself.

Kabu kabu /
ISBN: 160701405X. OCLC Number:

. .

Presents a variety of takes on the future of Africa, including robots serving foreign interests find common cause with artists, women fall victim to society's order, and assassins ponder the effects of their efforts to provoke reform.

The book of Phoenix /
ISBN: 0756410193. OCLC Number:

. .

"Phoenix was grown and raised among other genetic experiments in New York's Tower 7. She is an 'accelerated woman'--only two years old but with the body and mind of an adult, Phoenix's abilities far exceed those of a normal human. Still innocent and inexperienced in the ways of the world, she is content living in her room speed reading e-books, running on her treadmill, and basking in the love of Saeed, another biologically altered human of Tower 7. Then one evening, Saeed witnesses something so terrible that he takes his own life. Devastated by his death and Tower 7's refusal to answer her questions, Phoenix finally begins to realize that her home is really her prison, and she becomes desperate to escape. But Phoenix's escape, and her destruction of Tower 7, is just the beginning of her story. Before her story ends, Phoenix will travel from the United States to Africa and back, changing the entire course of humanity's future"--

Chicken in the kitchen /
ISBN: 0993225306. OCLC Number:

. .

"What would you do if you woke up one night to find the shadow of a giant chicken passing your bedroom door? Go and investigate of course! When Anyaugo follows a giant chicken into her kitchen one warm night in Nigeria, she embarks on a hilarious adventure where nothing is quite as it seems. Is the nature spirit that lives in the wooden walls of her house a help or a hindrance? Is the mischievous giant chicken a friend or a foe? Most importantly, will Anyaugo be able to save the food her aunties have cooked for the New Yam Festival the next day? World Fantasy Award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor provides us with a hugely entertaining look at the fascinating masquerade culture of West Africa, told from the perspective of a plucky young Nigerian girl who finds the courage to protect the traditions she loves"--Back cover.

Lagoon /
ISBN: 1481440888. OCLC Number:

. .

"It's up to a famous rapper, a biologist, and a rogue soldier to handle humanity's first contact with an alien ambassador--and prevent mass extinction--in this novel that blends magical realism with high-stakes action. After word gets out on the Internet that aliens have landed in the waters outside of the world's fifth most populous city, chaos ensues. Soon the military, religious leaders, thieves, and crackpots are trying to control the message on YouTube and on the streets. Meanwhile, the earth's political superpowers are considering a preemptive nuclear launch to eradicate the intruders. All that stands between 17 million anarchic residents and death is an alien ambassador, a biologist, a rapper, a soldier, and a myth that may be the size of a giant spider, or a god revealed"--

The book of Phoenix /
ISBN: 0756410789. OCLC Number:

. .

"Phoenix was grown and raised among other genetic experiments in New York's Tower 7. She is an 'accelerated woman'--only two years old but with the body and mind of an adult, Phoenix's abilities far exceed those of a normal human. Still innocent and inexperienced in the ways of the world, she is content living in her room speed reading e-books, running on her treadmill, and basking in the love of Saeed, another biologically altered human of Tower 7. Then one evening, Saeed witnesses something so terrible that he takes his own life. Devastated by his death and Tower 7's refusal to answer her questions, Phoenix finally begins to realize that her home is really her prison, and she becomes desperate to escape. But Phoenix's escape, and her destruction of Tower 7, is just the beginning of her story. Before her story ends, Phoenix will travel from the United States to Africa and back, changing the entire course of humanity's future"--

Akata witch /
ISBN: 0670011967. OCLC Number:

Viking,. New York :. 2011.

Twelve-year-old Sunny Nwazue, an American-born albino child of Nigerian parents, moves with her family back to Nigeria, where she learns that she has latent magical powers which she and three similarly gifted friends use to catch a serial killer.

Akata warrior /
ISBN: 067078561X. OCLC Number:

. .

Now stronger, feistier, and a bit older, Sunny Nwazue, along with her friends from the the Leopard Society, travel through worlds, both visible and invisible, to the mysterious town of Osisi, where they fight in a climactic battle to save humanity.

Binti /
ISBN: 0765385252. OCLC Number:

. .

Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs. Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti's stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach. If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself--but first she has to make it there, alive.

Binti :
ISBN: 0765393115. OCLC Number:

. .

It's been a year since Binti and Okwu enrolled at Oomza University. A year since Binti was declared a hero for uniting two warring planets. A year since she found friendship in the unlikeliest of places. And now she must return home to her people, with her friend Okwu by her side, to face her family and face her elders. But Okwu will be the first of his race to set foot on Earth in over a hundred years, and the first ever to come in peace. After generations of conflict can human and Meduse ever learn to truly live in harmony?

Binti :
ISBN: 0765393131. OCLC Number:

. .

"Binti has returned to her home planet, believing that the violence of the Meduse has been left behind. Unfortunately, although her people are peaceful on the whole, the same cannot be said for the Khoush, who fan the flames of their ancient rivalry with the Meduse. Far from her village when the conflicts start, Binti hurries home, but anger and resentment has already claimed the lives of many close to her. Once again it is up to Binti, and her intriguing new friend Mwinyi, to intervene--though the elders of her people do not entirely trust her motives--and try to prevent a war that could wipe out her people, once and for all."--Publisher's description.


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
  • Starred review, Booklist
  • Starred review, BCCB
  • Starred review, School Library Journal
  • 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
  • Lagoon

  • 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

    Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)

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