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Public Talk by Nnedi Okorafor
Nebula and Hugo Award winner for Fiction
Thursday, March 30
Hodges Library, Lindsay Young Auditorium
Nnedi Okorafor is an associate professor of creative writing and literature at the University at Buffalo. An acclaimed novelist of African-based science fiction, fantasy and magical realism for children and adults, she is the author of several award-winning books, including Akaka Witch (an Amazon.com Best Book of the Year), Zahrah the Windseeker (winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature), Chicken in the Kitchen (winner of Children’s Africana Book Award for Best Book for Young Readers), and the space opera novella Binti (winner of the Nebula and Hugo Awards for Best Novella). Binti: Home was published in January 2017, and Okorafor's young adult novel Akata Witch 2: Akata Warrior will be released this fall.
Akata Witch by Nnedi OkoraforAffectionately dubbed "the Nigerian Harry Potter," Akata Witch weaves together a heart-pounding tale of magic, mystery, and finding one's place in the world. Twelve-year-old Sunny lives in Nigeria, but she was born American. Her features are African, but she's albino. She's a terrific athlete, but can't go out into the sun to play soccer. There seems to be no place where she fits in. And then she discovers something amazing--she is a "free agent" with latent magical power. Soon she's part of a quartet of magic students, studying the visible and invisible, learning to change reality. But will it be enough to help them when they are asked to catch a career criminal who knows magic too? Ursula K. Le Guin and John Green are Nnedi Okorafor fans. As soon as you start reading Akata Witch, you will be, too!
Call Number: FO429ak
Publication Date: 2011-04-14
Binti: Home by Nnedi OkoraforThe thrilling sequel to the Hugo and Nebula-winningBintiby Nnedi Okorafor 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? Praisefor Nnedi Okorafor: "Binti is a supreme read about a sexy, edgy Afropolitan in space! It's a wondrous combination of extra-terrestrial adventure and age-old African diplomacy. Unforgettable!" -Wanuri Kahiu, award winning Kenyan film director ofPumziandFrom a Whisper "A perfect dove-tailing of tribal and futuristic, of sentient space ships and ancient cultural traditions,Binti was a beautiful story to read.” – Little Red Reviewer “Binti is a wonderful and memorable coming of age story which, to paraphrase Lord of the Rings, shows that one girl can change the course of the galaxy.” – Geek Syndicate “Binti packs a punch because it is such a rich, complex tale of identity, both personal and cultural… and like all of Nnedi Okorafor’s works, this one is also highly, highly recommended.” – Kirkus Reviews "There's more vivid imagination in a page of Nnedi Okorafor's work than in whole volumes of ordinary fantasy epics." -Ursula Le Guin "Okorafor's impressive inventiveness never flags." -Gary K. Wolfe on Lagoon
Call Number: PS3615.K67 B562 2017
Publication Date: 2017-01-31
Binti by Nnedi OkoraforWinner of the Hugo Award and the Nebula Award for Best Novella! 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 the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself — but first she has to make it there, alive. PRAISE FORBINTI "Binti is a supreme read about a sexy, edgy Afropolitan in space! It's a wondrous combination of extra-terrestrial adventure and age-old African diplomacy. Unforgettable!" — Wanuri Kahiu, award-winning Kenyan film director ofPunzi andFrom a Whisper
Call Number: PS3615.K67 B56 2015
Publication Date: 2015-09-22
The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi OkoraforA fiery spirit dances from the pages of the Great Book. She brings the aroma of scorched sand and ozone. She has a story to tell.... The Book of Phoenix is a unique work of magical futurism. A prequel to the highly acclaimed, World Fantasy Award-winning novel, Who Fears Death, it features the rise of another of Nnedi Okorafor's powerful, memorable, superhuman women. 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.
Kabu Kabu by Nnedi OkoraforKabu kabu-unregistered illegal Nigerian taxis-generally get youwhere you need to go. Nnedi Okorafor's Kabu Kabu, however, takesthe reader to exciting, fantastic, magical, occasionally dangerous, and alwaysimaginative locations you didn't know you needed. This debut short storycollection by an award-winning author includes notable previously publishedmaterial, a new novella co-written with New York Times-bestselling authorAlan Dean Foster, six additional original stories, and a brief foreword byWhoopi Goldberg.
Call Number: PS3615.K67 A6 2013
Publication Date: 2013-10-15
Lagoon by Nnedi OkoraforIt'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.
Ngoli has heard many stories about Long Juju Man from her grandfather. But she is not prepared for her first meeting with him in the forest, or for the strange friendship which follows.
Call Number: PS3615.K67 L66 2009
Publication Date: 2008
The Shadow Speaker by Nnedi Okorafor-MbachuWhen 15-year-old Ejii witnesses her father's beheading, her world shatters. In an era of mind-blowing technology and tantalising magic, she embarks on a mystical journey to track down her father's killer. With a newfound friend by her side, Ejii comes face-to-face with an earth turned inside out. But she soon discovers that her travels across the sands of the Sahara have a greater purpose. Her people need to be protected from a force seeking to annihilate them. A futuristic, fantastical adventure heralding a bright new talent in young adult fiction.
Who Fears Death by Nnedi OkoraforAn award-winning literary author enters the world of magical realism with her World Fantasy Award-winning novel of a remarkable woman in post-apocalyptic Africa. In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways; yet in one region genocide between tribes still bloodies the land. A woman who has survived the annihilation of her village and a terrible rape by an enemy general wanders into the desert, hoping to die. Instead, she gives birth to an angry baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand. Gripped by the certainty that her daughter is different--special--she names her Onyesonwu, which means "Who fears death?" in an ancient language. It doesn't take long for Onye to understand that she is physically and socially marked by the circumstances of her conception. She is Ewu--a child of rape who is expected to live a life of violence, a half-breed rejected by her community. But Onye is not the average Ewu. Even as a child, she manifests the beginnings of a remarkable and unique magic. As she grows, so do her abilities, and during an inadvertent visit to the spirit realm, she learns something terrifying: someone powerful is trying to kill her. Desperate to elude her would-be murderer and to understand her own nature, she embarks on a journey in which she grapples with nature, tradition, history, true love, and the spiritual mysteries of her culture, and ultimately learns why she was given the name she bears: Who Fears Death.
Zahrah the Windseeker by Nnedi Okorafor-MbachuIn the northern Ooni Kingdom, fear of the unknown runs deep, and children born dada are rumored to have special powers. Thirteen-year-old Zahrah Tsami feels like a normal girl--she grows her own flora computer, has mirrors sewn onto her clothes, and stays clear of the Forbidden Greeny Jungle. But unlike other children in the village of Kirki, Zahrah was born with the telling dadalocks. Only her best friend, Dari, isn’t afraid of her, even when something unusual begins happening--something that definitely makes Zahrah different. The two friends determine to investigate, edging closer and closer to danger. When Dari’s life is threatened, Zahrah must face her worst fears alone, including the very thing that makes her different. In this exciting debut novel by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, things aren’t always what they seem--monkeys tell fortunes, plants offer wisdom, and a teenage girl is the only one who stands a chance at saving her best friend’s life.
Call Number: PS3615.K67 Z34 2005
Publication Date: 2005-09-26
Other Available Works by Nnedi Okorafor (Available Online)