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Chinelo Okparanta.

Chinelo Okparanta has been named in the CAFE 100, “a group of one hundred extraordinary change-makers who are taking action to address some of the most pressing problems in America and around the world.”

CAFE is “a media venture developed in partnership between Preet Bharara and Some Spider Studios.” The platform uses video, text, audio, and live events to connect with people across the world on issues that deal with strengthening democracy, advancing opportunity, and doing justice.

Here is part of their note on the list:

Some of these change-makers have built companies and founded nonprofits. Others have launched campaigns and started movements. But all of them show extraordinary promise as current and future leaders – and all of them are committed to inspiring thoughtful action.

Chinelo is the author of the short story collection Happiness, Like Water (2013) and the novel Under the Udala Trees (2015), both of which won the LAMBDA Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction in 2014 and 2016. Beginning during the brutal Biafran war in Nigeria, Under the Udala Trees follows a young woman as she navigates her sexuality in a world suffocated by religion and expectations. Also a finalist for the 2017 International Dublin Literary Award, it earned Chinelo a place on Granta‘s prestigious 2017 list of the Best of Young American Novelists. The novel, further nominated for the 2015 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work of Fiction and longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, was named by The New York Times as among the most impactful works of LGBTQ Literature in the last 20 years.

Having famously declared herself “an activist and an artist,” Chinelo’s continues to do astonishing underground work for persecuted LGBTQ artists in her home country Nigeria.

Congratulations to Chinelo Okparanta.

See the full list HERE.

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About Otosirieze Obi-Young

View all posts by Otosirieze Obi-Young
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, an academic, and Deputy Editor of Brittle Paper. His fiction has appeared in The Threepenny Review ("Mulumba," 2016), Transition ("A Tenderer Blessing," 2015), and in an anthology of the Gerald Kraak Award for which he was shortlisted ("You Sing of a Longing," 2017). His work has further been shortlisted for the Miles Morland Writing Scholarship in 2016 and a Pushcart Prize in 2015. He attended the 2018 Miles Morland Foundation Creative Writing Workshop. He is the curator of the ART NAIJA SERIES, a sequence of themed e-anthologies of writing and visual art exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. The first, ENTER NAIJA: THE BOOK OF PLACES (October, 2016), focuses on cities in Nigeria. The second, WORK NAIJA: THE BOOK OF VOCATIONS (June, 2017), focuses on professions in Nigeria. He studied History and Literature at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is currently completing a postgraduate programme in African Studies and Pop Culture, and teaches English at Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu. He has completed a collection of short stories, YOU SING OF A LONGING, and is working on a novel. He is represented by David Godwin Associates literary agency. When bored, he just Googles Rihanna.

One Response to “Chinelo Okparanta Named in CAFE’s List of 100 Extraordinary Changemakers” Subscribe

  1. John Chizoba Vincent 2018/04/29 at 16:53 #

    Wow… So happy for you. Keep keeping on.

Leave a Reply

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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