Three cheers for Nnedi Okorafor, who kicked off the second installment of our #WeTurnToBooks series!

Brittle Paper‘s #WeTurnToBooks series is an initiative that takes advantage of Instagram Live to help connect authors with readers in spite of the current global lockdown. The first installment revolved around the question of what literature can do for us in times of crises. The second installment, which will “air” throughout the month of June, features authors who have works that are forthcoming or have recently published new work.

Our first guest this time around was none other than Nnedi Okorafor, the pioneering author of Africanfuturism and Africanjujuism books for children and adults. Her oeuvre include Who Fears Death, the Binti trilogy, the Akata books, the Shuri series for Marvel Comics, as well as a memoir, Broken Places and Outer Spaces. Some of these works are being currently adapted for television, and Okorafor is also the cowriter of the adaptation of Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed with Viola Davis and Wanuri Kahiu. Okorafor’s books have won Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Locus, and Lodestar awards, as well as the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature.

We were incredibly honored to be able to chat with Okorafor about one of her forthcoming works, the novella Remote Control. The conversation also ranged over topics such as her fascination with insects, the ways a screen adaptation of a book differs from the book itself, the relationship between motherhood and writing, and of course, the coolest pet in the African literary scene: her cat, Periwinkle Chukwu.

If you were ever curious about how Okorafor builds the worlds for her stories, or the difference between Afrofuturism and Africanfuturism — the latter being what Okorafor’s books are about — watch the video below. Many thanks to Nnedi Okorafor for a rich, enlightening conversation!


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Nnedi Okorafor is a Nigerian-American author of Africanfuturism and Africanjujuism for children and adults. Her works include Who Fears Death (in development at HBO into a TV series), the Binti novella trilogy, The Book of Phoenix, the Akata books, and Lagoon. She is the winner of Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, Locus and Lodestar Awards and her debut novel Zahrah the Windseeker won the prestigious Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature. Her next novel, Ikenga, will be in stores August 2020, and her next novella, Remote Control, in January 2021. Nnedi has also written comics for Marvel, including Black Panther: Long Live the King and Wakanda Forever (featuring the Dora Milaje), and the Shuri series; an Africanfuturist comic series Laguardia (from Dark Horse); and her short memoir Broken Places and Outer Spaces. Nnedi is also cowriter of the adaptation of Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed with Viola Davis and Kenyan film director Wanuri Kahiu. Nnedi holds a PhD (literature) and two MAs (journalism and literature). She lives with her daughter Anyaugo and family in Illinois.

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