Who Fears Death

Who Fears Death

Nnedi Okorafor

Language: English

Pages: 400

ISBN: 0756406692

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The critically-acclaimed novel-now in paperback.

In a far-future, post-apocalyptic Saharan Africa, genocide plagues one region. When the only surviving member of a slain village is brutally raped, she manages to escape, wandering farther into the desert. She gives birth to a baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand, and instinctively knows her daughter is different. She names her daughter Onyesonwu, which means "Who Fears Death?" in an ancient African tongue.

Reared under the tutelege of a mysterious and traditional shaman, Onyesonwu discovers she possesses a remarkable and unique magic. The journey to fulfill her destiny will force her to confront nature, tradition, history, the spiritual mysteries of her culture, and eventually to learn why she was given the unusual name she bears: Who Fears Death?

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reappeared in the same place, I was flesh again, my body bleeding all over, my garments soaked with blood. He couldn’t wake me. For three minutes, I had no pulse. He blew air into my chest and used kind juju. When none of this worked, he sat there, waiting. During the third minute, I started breathing. Mwita shooed everyone out of the tent and asked two girls walking by to bring him a bucket of warmed water. He bathed me from head to toe, rinsing away the blood, bandaging wounds, rubbing

instead. I knelt down beside my mother. She was in the garden, churning the soil around the plants with her hands. “How was it?” she asked. “As much as I can expect from that crazy man,” I said. “You and Aro are too much alike.” my mother said. She paused for a moment. “I talked to Nana the Wise today. She spoke of an initiation . . .” she trailed off as she searched my face. She saw what she needed to see. “When?” “Tomorrow morning.” I brought out the list. “There are all these things I

know your mother. She’s alive.” Fanta shook his head. “No, she’s dead. She was bitten by a snake.” “Your mother was actually your great-aunt.” “What! But that . . . “He stopped and frowned. After a long moment, he said, “Nuumu knew. There was this tiny hole in the wall in the room we shared as children. We found a rolled up painting in there once, of a woman. On the back it said, ‘To my son and daughter, with love.’ We couldn’t read the signature. We were about eight. I didn’t care for it but

would stay with Fanasi. For the first few hours, the Vah constructed their homes like the expert nomads they were. The sun was setting and the desert, even in the eye of the storm, was cooling down, but I refrained from building a rock fire. Who knew how these people reacted to juju? We kept to ourselves and within ourselves we kept to ourselves more. Diti hid in her tent as did Fanasi and Luyu. Mwita and I, however, sat outside in front of ours, not wanting to look too antisocial. But while

Essop, who had five children, two of whom had different fathers. Ssaqua and Essop were a lively couple who argued and discussed every issue. They called Mwita and me often to settle disputes. One of the arguments they called me to settle was over whether the desert had more areas of hardpan or sand dunes. “Who could answer that?” I said. “No one’s been everywhere. Even our maps are limited and out of date. And who’s to say everything is desert.” “Ha!” said Essop, poking his wife in the belly.

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