Who Fears Death: An Interview with Nnedi Okorafor by Matthew Cheney

Nnedi Okorafor is the author of the award-winning young adult novels Zahrah the Windseeker and The Shadow Speaker, the children's book Long Juju Man, and, most recently, the adult novel Who Fears Death. (Visit her Amazon page for more information on all of these titles.)

Okorafor was born to Igbo (Nigerian) parents in the United States, and her work draws on Igbo culture as well as American and European styles of fantastic literature, including science fiction. Who Fears Death is a powerful combination of science fiction, African folklore, and stark realism. It tells the story of Onyesonwu, a woman of extraordinary powers in a post-apocalyptic West Africa, a world of perils and mysteries, of lost technologies and brutal wars. Onyesonwu's name means "Who fears death?", and her birth was the result of rape used as a weapon in battle; this legacy affects the woman she becomes, and the novel portrays her education as a sorceress and her quest to bring order and peace to her life and world.

Okorafor is a past winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature, the CBS Parallax Award, and the Macmillan Writer's Prize for Africa. We conducted our interview during the summer of 2010 via email. -- Matthew Cheney

       Who-fears-death Nnedi to the side 
  
  

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