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Nnedi Okorafor Talks About Being “Borderline Dyslexic” and Her Sporty Childhood

In a Q&A with the blogger Olushola Ojikutu, Nnedi Okorafor spoke about her attitude towards books that one supposedly “has to read”, picked the character that most resembles her, and also revealed that she played semi-pro tennis from the age of nine to nineteen. Okorafor is the winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa, as well as the winner of the 2011 World Fantasy Award for best novel for her book Who Fears Death.

Who Fears DeathAkata WitchThe Shadow SpeakerZahrah the Windseeker

Which of your child characters is most closely modeled after your own young self? And in what way?

I’d have to say Sunny from Akata Witch. She’s an excellent athlete (I played semi-pro tennis from the ages of 9-19, and won a lot of medals in track and field), she loves ballet (I love ballet and used to dance it when I was kid). When she’s forced to fight, she’ll fight and WIN or at least bring someone down with her if she loses. And she lives between multiple cultural worlds.

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