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Random House’s sci-fi imprint, Del Rey, is releasing a collection of stories that explores the perspective of minor characters in the Star Wars saga. Okorafor is one of 40 writers invited to contribute to the anthology titled Star Wars: From a Certain Point of View.

Here is what we know about Okorafor’s featured short story. In a series of tweets posted a few days ago, she revealed that her story is titled “Baptist.” She also said that it was written from the perspective of a creature called Dianoga, a pre-historic species in the Star Wars universe known to feed on organic waste.

Picture of a Dianoga

Are we surprised that of all the myriad background characters Okorafor could have starred in her story she opts for a monster? No. It’s Okorafor. She loves creatures. She has, in the past, dedicated an entire novel to creatures and plants, conspicuously making no mention of humans. A while back, she revealed that a major character in the Binti saga was partly inspired by a jelly fish she encountered in a pool in the United Arab Emirate. We’ve trolled her Instagram page enough to know that Okorafor has a soft spot for spiders, butterflies, birds, sea creatures, frogs, and all manner of non-human creatures. So no surprise here. Okorafor has an affinity to non-human creatures. Whether real or fantastical, creatures have always inspired her to tell the most amazing stories. We haven’t read “Baptist,” but we know it’s great. A blurb for the book notes that Okorafor’s story “brings dignity and depth to a most unlikely character: the monster in the trash compactor.”

The anthology was issued to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Star Wars. It is exciting that Okorafor’s work is included in the anthology. Star Wars is a huge transnational entertainment brand and iconic of global pop-culture. Okorafor’s participation tells us how much African writers and writing are representative of global literary trends and communities.

Congrats to Okorafor. The anthology comes out later this year in October. The writers were not paid for their story, in part, because all the proceeds from the sales of the book will go to charity.

Follow this link to learn more about the anthology.

 

 

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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