Who Fears Death

Nnedi Okorafor, Author
Nnedi Okorafor, Author . DAW $24.95 (386p) ISBN 978-0-7564-0617-2
Reviewed on: 04/05/2010
Release date: 06/01/2010
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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)

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