Learn more about CCRLS
Reading recommendations from Novelist
Online learning resources
Cover image for Who fears death
Format:
Title:
Who fears death
ISBN:
9780756406172

9780756406691

9780756407285
Publication:
New York, NY : Daw Books, Inc., [2010]
Physical Description:
386 pages ; 24 cm.
Series title(s):
Number in series:
no. 1512.
Summary:
In a far future, post-nuclear-holocaust Africa, genocide plagues one region. The aggressors, the Nuru, have decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke. But when the only surviving member of a slain Okeke village is brutally raped, she manages to escape, wandering farther into the desert. She gives birth to a baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand and instinctively knows that her daughter is different. She names her daughter Onyesonwu, which means "Who Fears Death?" in an ancient African tongue. Reared under the tutelage of a mysterious and traditional shaman, Onyesonwu discovers her magical destiny -- to end the genocide of her people. The journey to fulfill her destiny will force her to grapple with nature, tradition, history, true love, the spiritual mysteries of her culture -- and eventually death itself.
Geographic Term:

Holds:

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Status
Searching...
FN OKORAFOR NNEDI
Searching...
Searching...
Okorafor
Searching...
Searching...
FANTASY Okorafor, N.
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

Now optioned as a TV series for HBO, with executive producer George R. R. Martin!

An 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.


Author Notes

Nnedi Okorafor was born on April 8, 1974 in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is a graduate of Clarion Writers Workshop in Lansing, Michigan and earned her PhD in English from the University of Illinois. Currently she is an associate professor of creative writing and literature at the University at Buffalo (SUNY).

Her awards include a 2001 Hurston-Wright literary award for her story Amphibious Green, The Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa for Zahrah the Windseeker, the Carl Brandon Parallax Award for The Shadow Speaker, the 2007-08 winner of the Macmillan Writer's Prize for Africa for Long Juju Man, the 2011 World Fantasy Award for Best Novel for Who Fears Death, and her science fiction novella Binti won the 2016 Nebula Award (Best Novella) and the 2016 Hugo Awards for Best Novella.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Well-known for young adult novels (The Shadow Speaks; Zahrah the Windseeker), Okorafor sets this emotionally fraught tale in postapocalyptic Saharan Africa. The young sorceress Onyesonwu-whose name means "Who fears death?"-was born Ewu, bearing a mixture of her mother's features and those of the man who raped her mother and left her for dead in the desert. As Onyesonwu grows into her powers, it becomes clear that her fate is mingled with the fate of her people, the oppressed Okeke, and that to achieve her destiny, she must die. Okorafor examines a host of evils in her chillingly realistic tale-gender and racial inequality share top billing, along with female genital mutilation and complacency in the face of destructive tradition-and winds these disparate concepts together into a fantastical, magical blend of grand storytelling. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

In her astonishing debut, Okorafor has created a desolate, postapocalyptic Africa of endless desert, failing technology, superstition, and magic. But life is not without hope. Prophesy speaks of a sorcerer who will change the future, end the wars and slavery, and reunite the people. Onyesonwu is a child of rare talent. Conceived by rape, physically different from her peers, Onyesonwu has the light skin, fair hair, and freckles that traditionally mark her as unworthy, frightening, ugly, and evil. But rather than accepting her outcast role, a defiant Onyesonwu uses her magic to prove herself, avenge her mother's rape, and lead her people. Verdict Beautifully written, this is dystopian fantasy at its very best. Expertly exploring issues of race, gender, and cultural identity, Okorafor blends future fantasy with the rhythm and feel of African storytelling.-Jennifer Beach, Indiana State Lib., Indianapolis (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.