Who Fears Death

Who Fears Death

4.2 45
by Nnedi Okorafor
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

International award-winning Nnedi Okorafor enters the world of magical realist literature with a powerful story of genocide in the far future and the woman who reshapes her world.

In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways, yet in one region genocide between tribes still bloodies the land. A woman who has survived the annihilation of her

See more details below

Overview

International award-winning Nnedi Okorafor enters the world of magical realist literature with a powerful story of genocide in the far future and the woman who reshapes her world.

In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways, yet in one region genocide between tribes still bloodies the land. A woman who has survived the annihilation of her village and a terrible rape by an enemy general wanders into the desert hoping to die. Instead, she gives birth to an angry baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand. Gripped by the certainty that her daughter is different—special—she names her Onyesonwu, which means "Who fears death?" in an ancient language. It doesn't take long for Onye to understand that she is physically and socially marked by the circumstances of her violent conception.

She is Ewu—a child of rape who is expected to live a life of violence, a half-breed rejected by both tribes. But Onye is not the average Ewu. Even as a child, she manifests the beginnings of a remarkable and unique magic. As she grows, so do her abilities, and during an inadvertent visit to the spirit realm she learns something terrifying: Someone powerful is trying to kill her.

Desperate to elude her would-be murderer and to understand her own nature, she embarks on a journey in which she grapples with nature, tradition, history, true love, and the spiritual mysteries of her culture, and ultimately teaches her why she was given the name she bears: Who Fears Death.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Sara Sklaroff
In treating subjects such as the abuse of women, gender politics and racial genocide, Okorafor comes dangerously close to polemic. But she never crosses that line, opting instead for a story that is both wondrously magical and terribly realistic.
—The Washington Post
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. As Onyesonwu grows into her powers, it becomes clear that her fate is mingled with the fate of her people, the oppressed Okeke, and that to achieve her destiny, she must die. Okorafor examines a host of evils in her chillingly realistic tale—gender and racial inequality share top billing, along with female genital mutilation and complacency in the face of destructive tradition—and winds these disparate concepts together into a fantastical, magical blend of grand storytelling. (June)
From the Publisher
"A fantastical, magical blend of grand storytelling." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Beautifully written, this is dystopian fantasy at its very best. Expertly exploring issues of race, gender, and cultural identity, Okorafor blends future fantasy with the rhythm and feel of African storytelling. " —Library Journal (starred review)
"Both wondrously magical and terribly realistic." —The Washington Post

"Believable, nuanced characters of color and an unbiased view of an Africa full of technology, mysticism, culture clashes and true love." —Ebony Magazine (editor's pick)
"Her pacing is tight. Her expository sections sing like poetry. Descriptions of paranormal people and battles are disturbingly vivid and palpable. But most crucial to the book's success is how the author slowly transforms Onye's pursuit of her rapist father from a personal vendetta to a struggle to transform the social systems that created him." —The Village Voice
"Okorafor is a master storyteller who combines recent history, fantasy, tradition, advanced technology, and culture into something wonderful and new that should not be missed." —RT Book Review (top pick)

"To compare author Nnedi Okorafor to the late Octavia E. Butler would be easy to do, but this simple comparison should not detract from Okorafor’s unique storytelling gift." —New York Journal of Books
 

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780756406691
Publisher:
DAW
Publication date:
06/07/2011
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
554,069
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Nnedi Okorafor was born in the United States to two Igbo (Nigerian) immigrant parents. She holds a Ph.D. in English and is a professor of creative writing at Chicago State University.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >