Nnedi Okorafor is a Nigerian-American fantasy writer. She was born in the United States to two Igbo (Nigerian) immigrant parents. She has a doctorate in English and is a professor at Chicago State University. She is inspired by Stephen King
, Philip Pullman
, Tove Jansson, Hayao Miyazaki
and Ngugi wa Thiong'o.
Her first novel, Zahrah the Windseeker
, was published in 2005.
She mainly writes Urban Fantasy
books that are based on Nigerian myths and culture. She also averts most of the Medieval European Fantasy
tropes in her novels.
Tropes common in her works:
- Continuity Nod: Okorafor is fond of doing this, using references to her made-up world Ginen to loosely tie together Zahrah the Windseeker (set on Ginen), The Shadow Speaker (set partly on Ginen), Who Fears Death (the heroine finds a book about Ginen), and Akata Witch (the heroine's knife was probably made on Ginen).
- Humans Are White: Averted, in fact most of her fantasy/sci-fi worlds either take place in Africa or are explicitly based on African mythology.
- Science Fantasy: The Shadow Speaker and Zahrah the Windseeker both are mixtures of sci-fi and fantasy, though Zahrah the Windseeker is more explicitly fantasy. Both take place in futuristic worlds that are very high tech (the former taking place in a future Earth and the latter taking place in another realm that is similar to Earth) that also have various people with magical powers. Who Fears Death is a fantasy with magic and shapeshifting, but there are high-tech appliances such as personal computers present as well.
- Shown Their Work