Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Albino Girl

Hey, here's a way to sample a new author for just .45 Cents. (That's nothing!) Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu, author of two well received young adult fantasy novels, has a new story up for sale on Amazon: The Albino Girl. Take a look.

I think what's she doing - bringing African storytelling traditions into contemporary fantasy - is just awesome. I'm also happy to point you in her direction because I've had the pleasure of meeting Nnedi. She's great fun to be around, a real unique spirit. And it's not just me that thinks so. Ursula LeGuin blurbed her and Neil Gaiman conversed with her with the type of rapt interest that makes other authors purple with envy. (I know this. I was there and saw it with my own eyes...)

Anyway, here's a bit of info on her...

Nnedi was born in the United States to two Igbo (Nigerian) immigrant parents. Though American-born, Nnedi's muse continues to be Nigeria, where her parents have been taking her to visit relatives since she was very young. Because Nigeria is her muse, this is where her stories tend to take place, either literally or figuratively. Because she grew up wanting to be an entomologist and even after becoming a writer maintained that love of insects and nature as a whole, her work is always filled with startling vivid flora and fauna. And because Octavia Butler, Stephen King, Philip Pullman, Tove Jansson, Hayao Miyazaki, and Ngugi wa Thiong'o are her greatest influences her work tends to beon the creative side.

Her first novel, Zahrah the Windseeker, was published by Houghton Mifflin and will be published in Nigeria in 2008 by Kachifo Ltd. It was shortlisted for the Parallax Award and Kindred Award, a finalist for the Golden Duck Award and nominated for a Locus Award (Best First Novel). Zahrah the Windseeker takes place in a highly technological world based on Nigerian myth, culture and land.

Her second novel, The Shadow Speaker, published by Disney's Hyperion Books for Children (Jump at the Sun), takes place in the countries of Niger and Nigeria. About The Shadow Speaker, Nnedi says: Spontaneous forests, polygamy, strange insects, Nigerian 419 scammers, really really fast cars, a different kind of Sahara Desert, male beauty contests, the apocalypse, life, death, sword fights, fat chiefs, assassins, this novel is kind of nuts!

Nnedi earned her PhD in English at the University of Illinois and is currently teaching creative writing at Chicago State University. Learn more about Nnedi at

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Blogger Larry Nolen said...

I read and enjoyed greatly her The Shadow Speaker when I read it last month. Been meaning to write a review of it, though, as I was swamped at the time when I did read it. And as for those influences, I've read most of those authors and those are indeed some very talented and created people to be one's influences :D

6:42 AM  
Blogger David Anthony Durham said...

Hi Larry, you get around, don't you? (As a reader, I mean.) Good to hear that you liked Nnedi's work. Let me know when you write that review.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Larry Nolen said...

My best friend in college and I had two funny nicks for each other. Because he listened to all sorts of music, I jokingly called him a musical whore and in turn, I was the literary slut. Nice, huh? :P

When I do get to it (hopefully within the next few days), I'll be certain to drop you a line :D

10:48 AM  

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