Nigerian-American Africanfuturist writer Nnedi Okorafor has won the 2023 Lodestar Award for her YA novel Akata Woman (2022).
The Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book is an award given annually to a book published for YA readers in the field of science fiction or fantasy. Administered by the World Science Fiction Society (WSFS), the award is presented at the Hugo Award ceremony at the annual World Science Fiction Convention, or Worldcon.
Akata Woman is Book 3 in Okorafor’s famous Nsibidi Scripts trilogy. It is not surprising that Okorafor won the award considering that Book 2 in the trilogy, Akata Warrior, received the inaugural Lodestar Award back in 2018.
Okorafor was absolutely overjoyed at winning this prestigious award for the second time. She posted some celebratory photos on Twitter:
My novel AKATA WOMAN won the 2023 Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book! It was presented last night at the Hugo Awards in Chengdu (my 1st time in China!). !
— Nnedi Okorafor, PhD️ (@Nnedi) October 22, 2023
In The Nsibidi Scripts series, Okorafor creates a “Nigerian Harry Potter” full of magic and mystery from African mythologies. The protoganist Sunny Nwazue has magic running in her blood and seeks to control her powers throughout the trilogy, while navigating the balance between “America and Nigeria, the “normal” world and the one infused with juju, human and spirit, good daughter and powerful Leopard Person.”
In Akata Woman, Sunny’s abilities are put to the test in a dangerous quest where she must find a precious object hidden in an otherworldly realm. Defeating the guardians of the prize will be the hardest thing Sunny has ever had to achieve, and triumph will mean that she is forever changed.
Nnedi Okorafor is an award-winning writer of science fiction and fantasy for children and adults. Born in the United States to Nigerian immigrant parents, Okorafor has received the World Fantasy, Nebula, Eisner, and Lodestar Awards and multiple Hugo Awards, amongst others, for her books. She holds a PhD in literature and lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
Congrats to Okorafor on this well-deserved win!