Nalo Hopkinson

Jamaican-born Canadian writer

Nalo Hopkinson (born 1960) is a Jamaican science fiction and fantasy writer and editor who lives in Canada.

Nalo Hopkinson in 2007

Quotes edit

  • Suck all the juice this life will give!
    • Sister Mine (2013)
  • Beauty and ingenuity beat perfection hands down, every time.
    • Sister Mine (2013)
  • …Even though we talk about race a lot in the literature, there’s still this idea of “Well, if we make this person blue and give them pointy ears, then we don’t have to actually talk about what’s happening in the real world.” And those of us who live in racialized bodies feel that lack, we feel that erasure, so yes, there was something quite deliberate in my doing half the speech as an alien.
  • …There’s still this notion that you are somehow morally superior if you don’t know anything about the background of the writers you read, and I maintain that writers have every right to not talk their backgrounds, that’s fine, but when people do and it’s important to their work, to not know doesn’t mean you’re morally superior, it means you are indifferent…
  • Writers have to live in more than two worlds. The intellectual life of the Caribbean was available to me when I was growing up, through my parents, but being a science fiction and fantasy reader was strange. (There are still very few people in the Caribbean writing SF.) But I think being Caribbean, you're aware of being a multiplicity. Pretty much all of us who come from there are of mixed-race backgrounds, no matter what we look like. And they are really pluralist societies -- have been for centuries, though of course there are similar issues of systemic racism…
  • Every so often I come up with a different definition of what science fiction and fantasy do, and I'm always looking for one that describes what they both do, rather than separating them. Currently I'm saying that one of the things they do is look at the effects of large-scale social change on both populations and individuals. Fantasy tends to look to the past, and science fiction to the future, but what is common to many of the stories is change: huge societal upheaval.

Brown Girl in the Ring (1998) edit

All page numbers from the first edition, first printing, published by Warner Books (Aspect Science Fiction)
  • “Mami,” Ti-Jeanne said, “I should go and get Baby. He ain’t take to Tony.”
    “Hmph. Child got some sense, then. More than some I could name. But leave he there. He have to learn that he can’t always have what he want.”
    • Chapter 4 (p. 62)
  • “I can’t keep giving my will into other people hands no more, ain’t? I have to decide what I want to do for myself.” No answer. It wasn’t going to tell her.
    • Chapter 12 (p. 220)
  • She had a yearning to lose herself in this noisy throng of people going about the business of staying alive.
    • Chapter 13 (p. 230)
  • Since Baby’s birth, she had learned that the first few months of motherhood were about fatigue and leakiness.
    • Chapter 13 (p. 232)

Midnight Robber (2000) edit

All page numbers from the first edition, first printing, published by Warner Books (Aspect Science Fiction)
The sections in the book are not numbered. They are numbered here for ease of reference
  • This was a thing she’d not seen before, how the meat that fed her was a living being one minute and then violently dead. The smell of it was personal, inescapable, like the scent that rose in the steam from her own self when she stepped into a hot bath. They had broken open the animal’s secret body just to eat it.
    • Section 2 (p. 104)
  • Come in peace to my home, Tan-Tan. And when you go, go in friendship.
    • Section 4 (p. 179)
  • She just wanted to be somewhere safe, somewhere familiar, where people looked and spoke like her and she could stand to eat the food.
    • Section 4 (p. 217)
  • She curled up on the pallet and stared into the dark, praying for a peaceful sleep.
    Prayers didn’t do no good, oui. Antonio chased her all night. (In the book Antonio, her father, beats and sexually abuses her long-term; she eventually kills him)
    • Section 4 (p. 222)
  • She was hiding in the best possible way, masquerading as herself!
    • Section 4 (p. 314)
  • Just being Tan-Tan, sometimes good, sometimes bad, mostly just getting by like everybody else.
    • Section 4 (p. 326)

The Salt Roads (2003) edit

All page numbers are from the hardcover first edition published by Warner Books ISBN 0-446-53302-5
Nominated for the 2004 Nebula Award
  • Lasirèn, pray you a quick death for Hopping John. Pray you no more of this life for him. Even though no gods answer black people’s prayers here in this place.
    • p. 8
  • All the people sick and dead on the ships, and the ones sick and dead on this soil. What are gods for, then, if they let things like this to happen to their people?
    • p. 66
  • Desire makes us all babies again.
    • p. 180
  • It is ugly in this world, and when the killing starts, the same stick will beat the black dog and the white.
    • p. 377

The New Moon's Arms (2007) edit

All page numbers from the hardcover edition published by Warner Books
  • I don’t pay much mind to politricks. Never met a politician who wouldn’t try to convince you that salt was sugar.
    • Chapter 1 (p. 40)
  • It was time to be honest with myself. To survive all the shame this world will throw at you, you have to hold yourself tall, look your accuser straight in the eye. Even if it’s your own face looking back at you.
    • Chapter 2 (p. 72)
  • Children were pack animals; let any one of them act different from the group, and the rest would bring him down.
    • Chapter 4 (p. 191)
  • “Children,” I said to her. “For the first little while, they not exactly human, you don’t find?”
    • Chapter 4 (p. 192)

Quotes about Nalo Hopkinson edit

  • Indigenous scientific literacies play key roles throughout Nalo Hopkinson's works. The excerpt from Midnight Robber introduces the practice in its simplest guise: a child comes under the tutelage of an Indigenous mentor who begins teaching her the science of survival, emphasizing the practical, day-to-day transmission of generational knowledge.
    • Grace Dillon Walking the Clouds: An Anthology of Indigenous Science Fiction (2012)

External links edit

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