Nnedi Okorafor

Nigerian-American writer of fantasy, science fiction, and comics

Nnedi Okorafor (born April 8, 1974) is a Nigerian-American writer of fantasy and science fiction for both children and adults.

Nnedi Okorafor in 2017


  • I’ve never heard the term “numerical synesthesia,” but now that I have, yes, this is how she often sees. This is how she is able to calm herself. This is her path to tapping into the energy of spirit. I’ve also blended it with a phenomenon that I became familiar with while playing sports. “Treeing” was when you were effortlessly performing at a level beyond yourself. It was like looking into time and space and being able to manipulate it, but if you tried to analyze it, you’d fall out of it…
  • I believe aliens have definitely been here. I don’t think the theory that they have affected, interacted with, exchanged with the people of Earth (human and otherwise) in the past takes away from the accomplishments or innovations of anyone. I think the general belief that certain peoples are less than other peoples is what does that…
  • The theme of choice and the power of culture pops up in my stories often. Before Binti, the biggest example of this is in Who Fears Death when Onyesonwu must face the decision of whether or not to go through a ceremony that required cutting off her clitoris. To many readers, the fact that she even has to think about whether or not to do this is shocking. It’s not shocking to me at all, coming from the culture that I come from where the individual is often secondary to the community…
  • I don’t think about what I write and the way I write as “containers”, nor do I think about what others will see it as. I just write it. I know that I am deeply interested in post-humanism and how our pasts connect with our futures and present. I’m interested in African and Arab cultures and how they both battle and blend and I’m coming at this not as a researcher, but as a participant. I’m interested in technology and spirituality and how they blend and what happens when they blend. I think that my interests and the results of them in my stories lead to very “weird” fiction…
  • “In that time I was able to experiment — try things, see what worked, see what didn’t — without someone looking over my shoulder, like ‘Oh my God, that really is terrible!"...
    • Her believe about why are stories are always staying hidden from critical eyes in [1] her conversation with Bustle.
Winner of the 2011 World Fantasy Award. All page numbers from the trade paperback first edition published by Daw Books, ISBN 978-0-7564-0669-1
In this book chapters 26-59 have no titles.
  • Withholding the truth is lying.
    • Chapter 14, “The Storyteller” (p. 95)
  • People hate what they don’t understand.
    • Chapter 15, “The House of Osugbo” (p. 100)
  • “Are you willing to allow other the same right to their beliefs?”
    “If their beliefs don’t hurt others and, when I feel the need, I am allowed to call them stupid in my mind, then yes.”
    • Chapter 17, “Full Circle” (p. 110)
  • “Is it better to give or receive?”
    “They’re the same,” I said. “One can’t exist without the other. But if you keep giving without receiving, you’re a fool.”
    • Chapter 17, “Full Circle” (p. 111)
  • We fear what we don’t know.
    • Chapter 21, “Gadi” (p. 139)
  • There is nothing that a man must believe that can’t be seen or touched or sensed.
    • Chapter 23, “Bushcraft” (p. 144)
  • When I am not moving toward my fate, it comes to me.
    • Chapter 44 (p. 273)
  • Mortality smelled muddy and wet and I reeked of it.
    • Chapter 45 (p. 278)
  • Just because something is not alive, does not mean that it is dead. You have to be alive first to be dead.
    • Chapter 45 (p. 281)
  • To know someone's pain is to share in it. And to share in it is to relieve some of it.
  • I speak my life into existence with each expressed breath I take. I tell you a story within which are more stories. Universes within universes. We are all spinning like small suns. I am like my own sun.
  • I love books . I adore everything about them. I love the feel of the pages on my fingertips. They are light enough to carry, yet so heavy with worlds and ideas . I love the sound of the pages flicking against my fingers. Print against fingerprints. Books make people quiet, yet they are so loud.
  • Strength comes not from avoiding suffering, but from enduring it with grace and resilience.
  • The greatest adventure lies not in our surroundings, but in the depths of our own souls.
All page numbers from the hardcover first edition published by Tor Books ISBN 978-1-250-77280-0, 2nd printing
  • People treat it with more respect than they treat any police officer. Maybe because the robot is polite, helpful and never asks for bribes.
    • Chapter 8, “Everything Happend in the Market” (p. 112)
  • However, time doesn’t change the essence of what you are.
    • Chapter 9, “Death” (p. 142)

Noor (2021)

All page numbers from the hardcover first edition published by Daw Books ISBN 978-0-7564-1609-6, 1st printing
  • If you could, wouldn’t you replace your damaged legs with cybernetic ones? Why hold on to malfunctioning or poorly formed flesh and bone because “we were born with it”? That’s something said only by people who have no choice or have no actual experience with being…unable. What makes you you, really? I’m a mechanic. When something isn’t working, you replace it with something better, something that is working.
    • Chapter 1, “What Kind of Woman Are You?” (p. 15)
  • I will never believe in Christ or Allah or any other God. I will never follow any religion.
    • Chapter 17, “Milk” (p. 159)
  • It was obvious who the Elders were. Important-looking men wearing important clothes being looked at by everyone else because they were important.
    • Chapter 18, “Bukkaru” (p. 178)
  • “The problem with you,” Force said, “is that you’re so used to pain and discomfort that your definition of feeling okay is not the greatest indicator of being okay.”
    • Chapter 18, “Bukkaru” (p. 185)

Quotes about Nnedi Okorafor

  • For too long, the voices and visions for our future have been provided, for the most part, by and from a culturally European (if not Eurocentric) perspective. However, there is change afoot. The works of Octavia E. Butler are becoming mainstream, and names like Nnedi Okorafor and Lesley Nneka Arimah are bringing much needed flavor to the narratives that help shape our future.
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