“Dear friends, are you afraid of death?”
Patrice Lumumba, first and only elected
Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo


Who Fears Death

from DAW Books

*Optioned for a film by producer Kisha Cameron-Dingle, to be directed by award-wining director Wanuri Kahiu*

*WINNER OF THE 2011 WORLD FANTASY AWARD for Best Fantasy Novel*

*A 2010 Locus Award Finalist for Best Fantasy Novel*
*A 2010 Nebula Award Nominee*
*Winner of the 2010 RT Reviewer's Choice Best Book Award (Science Fiction)*
*A Tiptree Honor Book*
*A 2010 Goodreads Choice Award Nominee: Best Fantasy*
*A Selection of the Amelia Bloomer Project 2011 List*
*A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2010*

*An Amazon.com Best Book of 2010*
*A Library School Journal Best Book of 2010*
*Finalist for a  2010 Black Excellence Award"
*A 2010 Nobbie Award winner for the Best Books of the Year*

*Concept art for the WHO FEARS DEATH movie by Kenyan painter Yvonne Muinde*


Who Fears Death
Reading Guide

READ The Book of Phoenix (Excerpted from the Great Book)
(a short story inspired by Who Fears Death)

A fantastical, magical blend of grand storytelling.
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Beautifully written, this is dystopian fantasy at its very best.
-The Library Journal Review (starred review)

Both wondrously magical and terribly realistic.
-The Washington Post

 The book is an untraditional fantasy novel; it actually features Black people in an alternate reality that is set in the Motherland. It also skews more toward the Octavia Butler end of the fantastical spectrum with 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

The subject matter of this haunting tale is brutal, yet its words inspire hope...It is a story that begs to be read in one sitting.
-The Christian Science Monitor

WHO FEARS DEATH is unlike anything this reviewer has ever read...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 Reviews (4 1/2 star, Top Pick, Gold Medal)

Written in a direct and uncompromising prose and driven by a passion and anger only hinted at in the earlier novels, Okorafor’s first adult novel is easily her best.
-Locus Magazine

Okorafor’s science fiction writing may have been strongly influenced by Octavia Butler, but her writing style and dark thematic approach are comparable to horror master Stephen King.
-The Lansing City Pulse

The clear and sometimes lyrical prose pulls the reader along and compels the reading of page after page. 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.
-The New York Journal of Books

Nnedi Okorafor's new book will not help you sleep.

WHO FEARS DEATH is available where books are sold, including:
A Room of One's Own Bookstore

Dreamhaven Books
The King's English Bookshop

Barnes and Noble


A Nigerian Sorceress Makes Her Way

Okorafor's fantastic journey into sci-fi

Publishers Weekly
The Village Voice
The New York Journal of Books
RT Times
Neth Space
The Mumpsimus

The Barnes and Noble Review
The Tigritude of a Story
Who Fears Death, writing & culture
The People Could Fly
Locus Magazine
Tor.com: Geeks Guide to the Galaxy
An Interview with Nnedi Okorafor
John Scalzi's The Big Idea
Grasping at the Wind

Praise for Who Fears Death:

"I love the way Nnedi Okorafor writes, the precise, steely short sentences like blows to the body, the accumulation of experiences that lead to inspired insights, and the strangeness and beauty of an Africa both imagined and real. Perception, courage, and grace illuminate WHO FEARS DEATH."
  -Peter Straub, bestselling and award-winning author of over 18 books including A Dark Matter, In the Night Room and Ghost Story and co-author with Stephan King of The Talisman and Black House

 "WHO FEARS DEATH is one of the most striking, chilling, truly fascinating, and all-around remarkable novels I've read in a very long time."
  -Peter Beagle, bestselling and award-winning author of The Last Unicorn, The Innkeeper's Song and many more fantasy books.

"Nnedi Okorafor's WHO FEARS DEATH will transport you to a world that is different from ours yet all too familiar. Prepare to be drawn in, enlightened, and amazed. If the bulk of contemporary fantasy is sparkling water, then this is surely cognac."

  -Alan Dean Foster
, bestselling and award-winning author of many many science fiction and fantasy books.

"Nnedi Okorafor is American-born but her Nigerian blood runs strong, lacing her work with fantasy, magic and true African reality. Many people need to read WHO FEARS DEATH, it's an important book."

  -Nawal El Saadawi, bestselling and award-winning Egyptian feminist writer and activist, author of Woman at Point Zero

"The voice of Nnedi Okorafor does not obey the rules of distance, time and place. Hers is that voice that fuses matter and imagination. WHO FEARS DEATH captures the substance of our necessary but often ignored realities. Read it."
  -Tchidi Chikere, Nigeria’s prolific award-winning film director and screenwriter

"Nnedi Okorafor's got the cure for what ails you. Her books are fresh, original, and smart. We need more writers like her."
  -Patrick Rothfuss, bestselling and award-winning author of The Name of the Wind

""Her newest teaches us that we can and should look beyond labels and genres. She is in the passing lane now, and she is starting to pull away. Catch her now."
  -Luis Alberto Urrea, bestselling and award-winning author of The Hummingbird's Daughter and 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for The Devil's Highway.

"WHO FEARS DEATH, is urgently topical, at times brutal, and always wholly original. It’s no surprise she’s been racking up awards. There are more to come, surely."
  -David Anthony Durham, bestselling and award-winning author of Acacia


International award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor enters the world of magic realist literature with a powerful story of genocide in the far future and of 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. After years of enslaving the Okeke people, the Nuru tribe has decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke tribe for good. An Okeke 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 child Onyesonwu, which means “Who Fears Death?” in an ancient tongue.

From a young age, stubborn, willful Onyesonwu is trouble. It doesn’t take long for her 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. As a child, Onye’s singing attracts owls. By the age of eleven, she can change into a vulture. But these amazing abilities are merely the first glimmers of a remarkable unique magic. As Onye grows, so do her abilities—soon she can manipulate matter and flesh, or travel beyond into the spiritual world. During an inadvertent visit to this other 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 seeks help from the magic practitioners of her village. But, even among her mother’s people, she meets with frustrating prejudice because she is Ewu and female. Yet Onyesonwu persists.

Eventually her magical destiny and her rebellious nature will force her to leave home on a quest that will be perilous in ways that Onyesonwu can not possibly imagine. For this journey will cause her to grapple with nature, tradition, history, true love, the spiritual mysteries of her culture, and ultimately to learn why she was given the name she bears: Who Fears Death?