Nnedi Okorafor, Ph.D., Chicago State University
Nnedi Okorafor was born in the United States to two Igbo (Nigerian) immigrant parents. She holds a PhD in English and is a professor at Chicago State University. She resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her daughter Anyaugo. Though American-born, Nnedi’s muse is Nigeria. Her parents began taking her and her siblings to visit relatives there when she was very young. Because Nigeria is her muse, this is where many of her stories take place, either literally or figuratively. Because she grew up wanting to be an entomologist and even after becoming a writer maintained that love of insects and nature, her work is always filled with startlingly vivid flora and fauna. And because Octavia Butler, Stephen King, Philip Pullman, Tove Jansson, Hayao Miyazaki, and Ngugi wa Thiong’o are her greatest influences, her work tends to be…on the creative side.Her first novel, Zahrah the Windseeker (published in 2005 by Houghton Mifflin and an illustrated version was published in Nigeria in 2008 by Kachifo Ltd.), takes place in a highly technological world based on Nigerian myths and culture.