Nnedi Okorafor

Magic, Myth, Morality and the Future


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About the Book

This work is the first book-length scholarly treatment of Nnedi Okorafor’s critically acclaimed fiction. Written for an audience that includes serious fans as well as scholars, it is an introduction to Okorafor’s work and major influences. The scope of the text is ambitious, featuring detailed analyses of her novels, short story collection, memoir, comics and graphic novel.
Particular emphasis is given to Okorafor’s most enduring themes, which include healthy young adult development and decision making, the interweaving of fantasy and science fiction, flight as a unifying force and the use of innovative biotechnology in ecological utopian communities. Influences examined include feminism, Afrofuturist and Africanfuturist movements and African mythology. Chapters also detail Okorafor’s examinations of colonialism and corporate neocolonialism in Africa and Africa’s potential to become a major world power.

About the Author(s)

Sandra J. Lindow is a writer, reviewer, and editor. She lives in Menomonie, Wisconsin.

Donald E. Palumbo is a professor of English at East Carolina University. He lives in Greenville, North Carolina.

C.W. Sullivan III is Distinguished Professor of arts and sciences at East Carolina University and a full member of the Welsh Academy. He is the author of numerous books and the on-line journal Celtic Cultural Studies.

Bibliographic Details

Sandra J. Lindow

Series Editors Donald E. Palumbo and C.W. Sullivan III

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 248
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8332-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4888-0
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Critical Explorations in Science Fiction and Fantasy

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Introduction to Reading Okorafor 5
1. Exploring the Empire of Girls’ Moral Development 17
2. Watching Windseekers: Wonder, Anger, Intimacy, Independence and Transformation 41
3. Mythology and Sacrifice in Who Fears Death 58
4. The Book of Phoenix, Motherless Monsters and the Morality of Abomination 76
5. Tomorrow Is Now: An Evolution of Young Women’s Rights, Trauma and Resilience 98
6. Magic, Masquerades and Morality 118
7. Degrowth in the Anthropocene Worlds of Le Guin and Okorafor 139
8. Black to Okorafor: Entering the Intersection of Afrofuturism, Comics and the Women’s Movement 152
9. Conclusions About Morality, Technology, Magic and the Lessons of History 173
Appendix: Motherlessness, Anger, Agency and Inspiration in the Life of Mary Shelley 189
Chapter Notes 193
Works Cited 217
Index 229

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “This is the most developed and comprehensive scholarship on Okorafor to date. A touchstone for future Okorafor scholarship.”—Sharon DeGraw, associate professor in the History, Philosophy, and Sociology of Science at Michigan State University