Nnedi Okorafor Interview
Interviewed by Jean Marie Ward
JMW: Hello, this is Jean Marie Ward for BuzzyMag.com With me today is award-winning writer Nnedi
Okorafor: Welcome Nnedi.
Nnedi Okorafor : Thank you very much. Glad to be here.
JMW: Your fiction is closely connected with your heritage. How did Nigeria become you muse?
Nnedi Okorafor: I think that it was something that was completely organic, and not something that I could have predicted. It just was. The first story that I wrote was set in Nigeria, and it’s been like that since then. I think that when I look back, if I were to kind of deconstruct things, I think it became my muse from the early trips that my parents took us to Nigeria. They were so full of the wonderful and the terrifying, but at the same time full of so many extremes and so many details and so many memories that those not only colored my childhood almost the most, but they were the most memorable memories that I have.
JMW: On the flip-side, how has your American heritage and sensibilities play into your writing?
Nnedi Okorafor: I think that the American side of me,it’s more of the craft of it, the idea of writing science fiction, or what’s considered fantasy is more of a western construct, and it something that I learned in this country. It’s not something that I can say I learned from the Nigerian side of me at all, and so I think that that’s the most strongest influence. Also, I think the fearlessness that I write with about difficult issues is probably a very American thing too. That whole idea of freedom of speech and the need to tell those stories regardless of anything, I think that’s my American side. So I think the idea of writing something that where I wasn’t hesitating at all in telling the story is the American side and then also just the craft side of it, the format of it.