Nnedi Okorafor

Nnedi Okorafor is an international award-winning novelist of African-based science fiction, fantasy and magical realism for children and adults. She is best known for her Binti Series and critically acclaimed novels Who Fears Death, Zahrah the Windseeker, Akata Witch, Akata Warrior, etc.

Nnedi has received the World Fantasy, Nebula, Eisner and Lodestar Awards and multiple Hugo Awards, amongst others. She has also written for comics and film.

Nnedimma Nkemdili Okorafor was born to Igbo-Nigerian parents in Cincinnati, Ohio. Raised in Chicago, her childhood was split between the United States and Nigeria, enriching her identity and cultural perspective.

Nnedi's education spans several institutions and fields of study, indicative of her multifaceted interests. After attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for her undergraduate degree, she pursued journalism at Michigan State University and later English at the University of Illinois, Chicago, where she completed her PhD. Clarion Writers Workshop helped her develop her literary skills.

Athletics marked her early years until a scoliosis diagnosis shifted her focus to writing, a pivot that came following a life-changing surgery at 19. Despite the challenges, she emerged as a writer, starting with stories in a science-fiction book's margins.

With Amphibious Green, she won the Hurston-Wright Literary Award. Her collection Kabu Kabu includes a mix of previously published and new stories, with recognition from Whoopi Goldberg.

Okorafor's novels have captured the attention of the literary world and Hollywood alike, with Who Fears Death heading to HBO and the Binti series in development for screen adaptation.

She won the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature for Zahrah the Windseeker, and her other works have earned her Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards.

Her foray into comics has been equally successful, contributing to Marvel's "Black Panther: Long Live the King," "Wakanda Forever," and crafting her award-winning comic series "LaGuardia". Her memoir, "Broken Places and Outer Spaces," offers insight into her journey from paralysis to literary acclaim.

Nnedi's novels like Lagoon (2014) and The Book of Phoenix (2015) have been finalists for major science fiction awards. Who Fears Death (2010) and The Shadow Speaker (2007) also gained recognition from authors such as Neil Gaiman and George R.R. Martin.

Nnedi Okorafor lives with her daughter Anyaugo in Phoenix, Arizona.

Photo credit: Nnedi.com
years of life: 8 April 1974 present



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