To read a Nnedi Okorafor novel is to read a book featuring strong female characters. But calling Onyesonwu, the protagonist of Okorafor’s World Fantasy Award-winning Who Fears Death, “strong” feels like an understatement. In the novel, Okorafor imagines a grim, post-apocalyptic Sudan, one where rape is employed as a weapon of war and violence can seem omnipresent. But in learning to wield magic, Onyesonwu gains the ability to set her world on a new path. Okorafor, a prolific novelist who has written Wakanda-set comics for Marvel, is known for Africanfuturist stories that through their speculative settings hold a critical mirror to our world and offer sparks of hope. Amidst the darkness of Who Fears Death, Onyesonwu is that hope. —Cate Matthews

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