Writing for a Broken World: Nnedi Okorafor

Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America (CSREA)

Writing for a Broken World is a conversation series that features widely known contemporary novelists, poets, playwrights, or other literary artists engaged in dialogue about race, ethnicity, and/or indigeneity and their inspirations, influences, and method.

This conversation features writer Nnedi Okorafor, Ph.D., in conversation with Matthew Guterl, Professor of Africana Studies and Chair of American Studies. Nnedi will read from her most recent publication, and share her hopes for the impact of her writing on the world.


Nnedi Okorafor is an international, award-winning novelist of African-based science fiction, fantasy and magical realism. Born in the United States to two Nigerian immigrant parents, Nnedi is known for weaving African culture and folklore into creative, evocative settings with memorable characters. She’s considered by many to be the successor to Ursula LeGuin for her literary quality fantasy and sci-fi creations. She’s a frequent New York Times bestselling author, and her many literary accolades include a Nebula and Hugo Award. She holds a Ph.D. in English.

Her works include the Black Panther comics from Marvel Comics, with a movie adaptation that became a world-wide sensation! Other comics including Antar: the Black Knight, and LaGuardia. Author George R.R. Martin (Game of Thrones) and HBO are turning Nnedi’s adult novel, Who Fears Death, into a TV series.The Book of Phoenix (prequel to Who Fears Death) was heralded by the NY Times as a “triumph”. She has a passionate young adult following for her Binti and Akata Witch series.