Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Various Reviews of Nnedi Okorafor's Who Fears Death

I have been talking about Nnedi's Who Fears Death for sometime. Though I have not yet read this novel, those who have have reviewed it and praised it. Again it falls within the agenda of ImageNations as a medium of promoting African Literature. I saw these various reviews on Nnedi's official website and I have decided to bring it to you.

You can read my blog entry of Nnedi's Who Fears Death here.

Publishers Weekly: Well-known for young adult novels (The Shadow Speaks; Zahrah the Windseeker), Okorafor sets this emotionally fraught tale in postapocalyptic Saharan Africa. The young sorceress Onyesonwu--whose name means "Who fears death?"--was born Ewu, bearing a mixture of her mother's features and those of the man who raped her mother and left her for dead in the desert. (Click here to continue reading the review).

New York Journal of Books: In post-apocalyptic Africa in the Seven Rivers Kingdom, there are two peoples: the Nuru and the Okeke. The Great Book explains how the Goddess Ani created the world and the Okeke people, who are the color of night because they existed before there was day. Halfway through her creation, the goddess turned her back and rested. Meanwhile, behind her back, the Okeke multiplied and were creative, inventive, and became technologically advanced. When the goddess awoke and discovered this, she was enraged and created the Nuru people from the stars with skin " the color of the sun" to cast light upon the Okeke and to enslave them for their impudence. This belief has been the situation for countless generations. Now an Okeke uprising has pitted the two races against each other...and the Okeke are losing. (Click here to continue reading the review).

RT Review: Who Fears Death is unlike anything this reviewer has ever read. Onyesonwu is an unforgettable character with powerful, exciting, sad and amazing story. The cadence and rhythm of her narrative voice draws the reader in and won't let go. Okorafor is a master storyteller who combines recent history, fantasy, tradition, advance technology and culture into  something wonderful and new that should not be missed. (Click here to continue reading the review).

Neth Space: Sometimes a book can’t be easily classified, and that can be a good thing. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor (Book Depository, Powell's  Books, Indiebound), her first novel aimed squarely at an adult audience, is one such book. Is it urban fantasy? Well no, it’s set in mostly rural setting, but certainly shares some characteristics. Is it epic fantasy? There is a quest, there is a group undertaking said quest, there are sorcerers and the equivalent of a dark lord, but few who read Who Fears Death would classify it as epic fantasy. Is it World Fantasy? Well, it isn’t the usual Western fantasy with its European and/or American roots – but World Fantasy is a pretty meaningless term and equally unclassifiable. (Click here to read the rest of the review). 

Enjoy reading all these reviews. Visit Nnedi's official website to read more about her.


  1. Just started reading "The windseeker" which I picked up in a local - Accra - bookshop. I am enjoying it!

  2. thanks Nina but which shop? Is it the Silverbirds? Please let me know

  3. Hello Nana. I'm sorry I haven't read your posts in a while, but I'm short of time in this period. I see that you have set your aim to promoting African Literature. That's very good, I like that!

    Listen, I have a contact on facebook, a young writer who's trying to get attention on his first attempt of a novel. Maybe you can help also him out or establish a contact of some kind.

  4. don't worry Stefania. I have been busy myself and also now you write more in Italian. I owuld check him out and see if I can prop him up. thanks very much for taking time off your busy schedule to comment.

  5. Thanks Nana for this post. I'll do something similar when I have more time (I hope very soon).

    It's good for me to write in Italian because the world of literary blogs is smaller, so I get more attention.
    It seems like a contradiction, but it's true. Also, it's quicker for me to write in my native language! :-)

    By the way, I'm reading "Black Mamba Boy" right now. It's a book written by a Somali-born British writer and it's set in East Africa in the 1930s. I'm enjoying it so far and it tells of the Italian colonization in East Africa at that time. It's very interesting for me, as there aren't many novels about this period in circulation.

  6. thanks Stefania for coming back. I haven't read this book and would look out for it. I would expect to see you. Enjoy!


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