Author Profile

Nnedi Okorafor

Nnedi Okorafor

Nnedi Okorafor is an international award-winning novelist of African-based science fiction, fantasy and magical realism for both children and adults. Born in the United States to two Nigerian immigrant parents, Nnedi is known for weaving African culture into creative evocative settings and memorable characters. In a profile of Nned's work titled, "Weapons of Mass Creation", The New York Times called Nnedi's imagination "stunning". Her books include Lagoon (a British Science Fiction Association Award finalist for Best Novel), Who Fears Death (a World Fantasy Award winner for Best Novel), Kabu Kabu (A Publisher's Weekly Best Book for Fall 2013), Akata Witch (an Best Book of the Year), Zahrah the Windseeker (winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature), and The Shadow Speaker (a CBS Parallax Award winner). Her latest works include her novel The Book of Phoenix (an Arthur C. Clarke Award finalist), her novella Binti (winner of a Nebula and Hugo Award for Best Novella and British Science Fiction Association Award) and her children's book Chicken in the Kitchen (winner of an Africana Book Award). Akata Witch 2: Akata Warrior and Binti 2: Home are due out in 2017. Nnedi is an associate professor at the University at Buffalo, New York (SUNY).

" Nnedi's visit was wonderful--it was a real treat for the campus. The most interesting part for me was probably hearing her talk about how she got started writing and how she works without a clear idea of how long the pieces will be. Several students talked to me afterward and mentioned those things as well. They really enjoyed hearing her read several excerpts from her novels and liked talking with her afterward. There was a long line of people wanting books signed!"
-- Tina May Hall-Associate Professor of Literature and Creative Writing, Hamilton College

For more about Nnedi and her works, go to

Reviews of The Book of Phoenix

Okorafor's inventiveness is as stunning as ever, and the ending is nothing short of spectacular.
-- Gary Wolfe, The Chicago Tribune

Okorafor triumphs over the perils of the prequel by making the inevitable feel newly dreadful. Blending poetic passages with sharp observation and the occasional cadence of a story told by firelight, "THE BOOK OF PHOENIX" is an assured introduction not just to her world's myths, but to the process of mythmaking.
-- The New York Times

Reviews of The Lagoon

Chaotic, enthralling, and moving fluidly from character voices to oral-style narration to gut-punchingly beautiful prose, Lagoon is almost less a novel than an experience: Of free-diving, of night-flying, of being cocooned in a spider's web.
-- NPR

Okorafor has a good sense to shake up convention. Alien species come to Lagos in the hopes of becoming Nigerian citizens because they find the country, with its fervent Christianity, Igbo masquerades, oil economy, 419 scammers, and brave gay rights activists, energizing and attractive.
-- The Washington Post

Reviews of Who Fears Death

Her pacing is tight. Her expository sections sing like poetry. Descriptions of paranormal people and battles are disturbingly vivid and palpable. But most crucial to the book's success is how the author slowly transforms Onye's pursuit of her rapist father from a personal vendetta to a struggle to transform the social systems that created him.
-- The Village Voice

The subject matter of this haunting tale is brutal, yet its words inspire hope...It is a story that begs to be read in one sitting.
-- The Christian Science Monitor

Videos featuring Nnedi Okorafor

Nnedi Okorafor on The Africa Channel's "Behind the Words" Part 1

Nnedi Okorafor on NPR "I Love Stories - And So I Write Them"