Have you heard of Africanfuturism before?
It's similar to Afro-futurism except that Africanfuturism centers Africa and Africanness, rather than the Black diaspora. Nnedi Okorafor is an africanfuturism and africanjujuist writer, despite frequently being mislabeled as afro-futurism. I myself made that mistake and she corrected me on Twitter. A bit of a search would have help me avoid the embarrassment, but I'd read Noor on audiobook, hence didn't have physical book to see note and didn't think to check author page/website. But you live and you learn. And what I learned is VERY fascinating! As a Gambian-American, I LOVE the idea of literature for and by Africans, rooted on the motherland. Learn more on Okorafor's blog post on the subject.
📒 ABOUT NOOR:
Anwuli Okwudili prefers to be called AO. To her, these initials have always stood for Artificial Organism. AO has never really felt...natural, and that's putting it lightly. Her parents spent most of the days before she was born praying for her peaceful passing because even in-utero she was "wrong". But she lived. Then came the car accident years later that crippled her even further. Yet instead of viewing her strange body the way the world views it, as freakish, unnatural, even the work of the devil, AO embraces all that she is: A woman with a ton of major and necessary body augmentations. And then one day she goes to her local market and everything goes wrong.
Once on the run, she meets a Fulani herdsman named DNA and the race against time across the deserts of Northern Nigeria begins. In a world where all things are streamed, everyone is watching the "reckoning of the murderess and the terrorist" and the "saga of the wicked woman and mad man" unfold. This fast-paced, relentless journey of tribe, destiny, body, and the wonderland of technology revels in the fact that the future sometimes isn't so predictable. Expect the unaccepted.
💭 MY THOUGHTS (based on audiobook):
Okay, I really enjoyed this! My first experience with African-inspired science fiction as I read mostly Afro-fantasy. I very much enjoyed the futuristic aspects to modern Nigeria. Noor also explores incredibly important themes around the level of the impact of control corporations and technology have on our lives, as well as how society treats women. A.O. and D.N.A we're fascinating and original characters and I was hooked and completely invested in their journey together. Now, to dive into the rest of Nnedi Okorafor's backlist. The Binti Series has been eyeing me for a while. And I love the idea of Africans in space!
Order Noor as your December Book Club pick today!