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October 21, 2014

Nnedi Okorafor Visits Centennial

by Zack Miller

Centennial was delighted to welcome award-winning author Nnedi Okorafor to the school last week. Okorafor’s parents lived in Nigeria, but moved to the states in pursuit of education. She has completed many novels, most of which are currently being made into movies. Okorafor has been published by many top named publishers from all over as well.

Okorafor began writing for the fun of it. She took up the hobby after being paralyzed from the waste down after a spinal surgery had gone incredibly wrong. She spent many hours recovering in a bleak hospital room. “I used my imagination to take me to places other than where I was” said Okorafor. After a friend had read some of Okorafor’s work, Okorafor decided to take a creative writing class at the University of Illinois. She decided she loved it, changed her major, and began writing novels primarily for friends and family. The first time Okorafor had even thought of being published, was when one of her professors prompted her to try it out. After that it was all down hill from there, publishing four consecutive novels.

“I don’t really get writers block.” said Okorafor. “I just kind of think of the stories I’d like to read, and I write them”. Okorafor gave some advice to authors in the making as well, saying “Read… Read as much as you can. To understand your own style of writing, you have to recognize other author’s styles”. Finally, after being asked about a post-apocalyptic novel, Okorafor replied “Sometimes we like to use these types of novels to face our fears. We put ourselves in the position of the character and see if we make it through”.

For more information on Nnedi Okorafor and some of her novels, visit http://nnedi.com/

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