The Nigerian-American author Nnedi Okorafor has been featured on the cover of the June 10, 2024 edition of the book news magazine Publishers Weekly.

Publishers Weekly is an American weekly trade news magazine targeted at publishers, librarians, booksellers, and literary agents. Published continuously since 1872, it has carried the tagline, “The International News Magazine of Book Publishing and Bookselling”.

In the cover issue, Okorafor is featured with her space cat Periwinkle Chukwu. The feature highlights her upcoming novel She Who Knows: Firespitter, described as “a scintillating coming-of-age saga”. The novella will be released on August 20 by DAW Books.

Set in a West African world, this sci-fi and fantasy novella offers a glimpse into the life of 13-year-old teenager Najeeba who experiences the Call to the Salt Roads, one that only men and boys experience.This has never happened in the history of her village but it’s not a terrible thing, just strange. However, when she leaves with her father and brothers to mine salt at the Dead Lake, Najeeba’s presence on the road changes everything and her family will never be the same. This is the beginning of the Kponyungo Sorceress.

Read the review below:

Okorafor packs a punch in her She Who Knows series launch, a return to the realm of the World Fantasy Award–winning Who Fears Death. At 13, Najeeba receives “the call,” the psychic summons to the Salt Roads that only male members of the Osu-nu people experience. She’s the first girl to ever feel it, but her father and brothers welcome her along with them on the trek to mine salt and sell it at the market. Along the way, several more strange occurrences mark Najeeba as different from her peers: she’s drawn toward a witch on the roads, her preternatural talent at selling salt earns her family wealth, and she can do a sort of astral projection wherein her spirit channels a mysterious energy. Though Najeeba has no idea what’s happening to her, it’s clear that these phenomena will affect not only her but the lives of all Osu-nu and perhaps the world. Okorafor’s writing style is both straightforward and poetic, creating a perfect voice for Najeeba as she comes of age. Fans of Who Fears Death will appreciate the return to this rich, fully realized world, but Okorafor keeps things accessible enough that this works just as well on its own. Readers will devour this. Agent: Angeline Rodriguez, WME. (Aug.)

Congrats to Okorafor on being featured on the cover of Publishers Weekly!

Read the full review here. Preorder the book here.