Photo via Instagram | @nnediokorafor

Nigerian-American Africanfuturist writer Nnedi Okorafor has finally revealed the new title of her forthcoming fiction, and it is Death of the Author. She announced the change on May 31 on Instagram, in addition to confirming that the novel, which will be published by HarperCollins imprint William Morrow, is slated for publication in January 2025.

Last year in July, we shared the news that Okorafor had signed a million-dollar book deal for her next novel. [Go here if you missed it.] The novel was titled The Africanfuturist at the time of the announcement, but some time later, Okorafor shared that the title had changed after extensive conversations with her agent and others. Readers and fans have held their breaths, waiting for the new title. It is finally here, and it is striking. The title is a sampling of Roland Barthes’ Death of an Author, a groundbreaking book in which the French philosopher argues that authors do not control the “ultimate meaning” of their work.

But Okorafor’s Death of the Author is far more intriguing. According to Publisher’s Weekly, the novel is “about a disabled Nigerian American woman who writes a science fiction novel that brings her success at a steep personal cost…a multi-threaded meta drama examining the relationship between a story and its teller, the labyrinth of African diasporic identity, family, and what makes us human.” That is as much as we know at the moment, including the deeply personal connection of the book and Okorafor’s late sister: “I wrote this from the gut, through pain, and because of the loss of my sister,” Okorafor shared in the initial announcement of the book deal.

Okorafor is an award-winning writer of science fiction and fantasy for children and adults. This is a really exciting moment for Okorafor since she is well known for her African speculative fiction titles such as the Binti Series and her novels Who Fears Death, Zahrah the Windseeker, Akata Witch, Akata Warrior, Lagoon and Remote Control. 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.

We are excited to see what Okorafor does next with this shift in genre. And the title is definitely intriguing.