With the story of the 234 kidnapped girls in Nigeria still not headlining the news, it's hard to talk about Who Fears Death?
, which has amazing cover art for it's French version. Nnedi Okorafor's first adult novel begins under the same pretences as this nightmare in Nigeria; passing rebels preying on communities and taking out the most vital and yet weakest link - it's young women.
If you cannot handle stories about rape, politely put this back on the shelf and try something else by Okorafor instead. In a far off post-apocalyptic Sudan, although culture is rich and magic is powerful, rape is still used as a weapon. However, Who Fears Death?
is not the story of a victim, but that of a young woman fighting against cultures that devalue her for being now only female, but also "Ewu" – the product of the rape of an Okeke woman by a Nuru man. Going against all the norms, Onyesonwu goes through a life of confrontation with each test more dangerous than the one before as she builds up to meet her rapist "father".
Onyesonwu's story is amazing. The way Okorafor words the relationships Onyesonwu has with her friends, her lover, and her elders, is beautiful. Okorafor manages to keep Onyesonwu a relatable character with a strong character without making her unlikeable. A definite page turner that only took me three days to finish, I'm impatiently waiting for Lagoon
to arrive at my doorstep and reading Kabu-Kabu
in the meanwhile to keep myself distracted.
Labels: 50 books in 52 weeks, nnedi okorafor, science fiction, who fears death, woc writers, women writers reading group