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Photo of Nnedi Okorafor by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images.

Nnedi Okorafor's Highly-Anticipated Memoir, 'Broken Places & Outer Spaces,' Is Here

This is the first work of non-fiction to come from the prolific science fiction writer.

Nnedi Okorafor, acclaimed Nigerian-American science fiction, fantasy and magical realism writer, has released her first work of non-fiction, Brittle Paper reports.

Broken Places & Outer Spaces: Finding Creativity in the Unexpected is her memoir chronicling the journey from being a star athlete to facing paralysis—to her eventual creative awakening. Published by TED Books, a Simon & Schuster imprint, the prolific author gives us a powerful example and guide of how our perceived limitations can have the potential to become our greatest strengths.

"I've been writing this on and off since it all happened," she explains in a thread on Twitter. "The original manuscript is over 300 pages. I *needed* to record every detail while they were fresh, so there are parts of this book that I wrote while I still wasn't quite able to walk."

Here's a snippet of the synopsis from the publisher below:


Nnedi Okorafor was never supposed to be paralyzed. A college track star and budding entomologist, Nnedi's lifelong battle with scoliosis was just a bump in her plan—something a simple operation would easily correct. But when Nnedi wakes from the surgery to find she can't move her legs, her entire sense of self begins to waver. Confined to a hospital bed for months, unusual things begin to happen. Psychedelic bugs crawl her hospital walls; strange dreams visit her nightly. Nnedi begins to put these experiences into writing, conjuring up strange, fantastical stories. What Nnedi discovers during her confinement would prove to be the key to her life as a successful science fiction author: In science fiction, when something breaks, something greater often emerges from the cracks.

In Broken Places & Outer Spaces, Nnedi takes the reader on a journey from her hospital bed deep into her memories, from her painful first experiences with racism as a child in Chicago to her powerful visits to her parents' hometown in Nigeria. From Frida Kahlo to Mary Shelly, she examines great artists and writers who have pushed through their limitations, using hardship to fuel their work. Through these compelling stories and her own, Nnedi reveals a universal truth: What we perceive as limitations have the potential to become our greatest strengths—far greater than when we were unbroken.

Starred reviews have already been rolling in for Okorafor's memoir, where Publisher's Weekly emphasizes that her story will inspire any reader.

We'll also be seeing Okorafor flex her creative muscles in the television world, as she's established her production company, Africanfuturism Productions, Inc. just a few months ago. It was recently announced that she will be working with Viola Davis and Kenya's own Wanuri Kahiu (a dream team, really) to develop Octavia Butler's 1980 novel, Wild Seed, into a series.

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Photo by Ulf Andersen/Getty Images.

Cameroonian Author Imbolo Mbue's Next Novel Has Been Picked Up by Penguin Random House

The second novel from the mind behind "Behold the Dreamers" is set to tell another poignant, but relatable story on the African experience.

The second novel from Cameroon's own Imbolo Mbue is in the works, Brittle Paper reports.

How Beautiful We Were, the novel's current title, has been acquired by Penguin Random House for its North American rights. The publisher says the book is "a story told through multiple perspectives about what happens when an African village decides to fight back against an American oil company that is destroying their land."

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Celebrated Kenyan Author, Dr. Margaret Ogola, Honored With Google Doodle

The author of the seminal novel "The River and the Source" is remembered on what would have been her 61st birthday.

Kenyan author, activist, and doctor Margaret Ogola is the latest African icon to be commemorated with a Google Doodle.

Google Africa unveiled the design, which features a painted portrait of the author admits a purple sunset, on Wednesday, June 12 to mark what would have been the novelist's 61st birthday.

The doodle appears on the Google homepage in Kenya. Google In Africa shared the image on their Twitter, asking followers to share their favorite quotes from her seminal novel The River and the Source.

Born in Asembo, Kenya in 1958, Dr. Ogola released her first novel, The River and the Source, in 1995. The internationally renowned book told the stories of four generations of Kenyan women as they country experienced rapid social, political and economic change.

The book won both the Jomo Kenyatta Prize for Literature and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book in Africa in the year of its release. It also became part of Kenyan school curriculum.

The award-winning novelist was also a practicing pediatrician who worked closely with orphans affected by HIV and AIDS as the medical director of the Cottolengo Hospice in Nairobi. She received the Families Award for Humanitarian Service from the World Congress of Families for her services.

"Local doodles provide a way for Google to connect with Kenyans about what matters to them and to help celebrate the important moments," said Dorothy Ooko, head of communications and public affairs, SSA. "We celebrated Wangari Maathai and today we're celebrating a literary figure, Dr. Margaret Ogola."

Interview
Merry-Lynn. Photo courtesy of the artist.

You Need This Merry-Lynn EP In Your Life

Interview: Rising R&B newcomer Merry-Lynn's Petrichor EP is a breath of fresh air.

Iyere-Eke Merrylynn Ehinomen, also known as Merry-Lynn, is a rising singer and songwriter based in Abuja, Nigeria. She recently released her debut EP, Petrichor, which presents a masterful blend of reggae and R&B with a modern twist across its six tracks.

Drawing you in with its resonant bass line and alluring vocals, EP opener "Skin," is a major head-bopper. Merry-Lynn pours her heart out over the rippling guitar chords singing "When you gonna call me baby?/ Or don't you think about me lately?" Before you know it you're midway through the sultry and euphoric cut, "Temptation," and fully locked-in to this musical experience.

In "Boy Tears" the young singer, who was born in 1997, graces us with vivid lyricism and audacious delivery as she rhymes "too" and "fooled," enriching each line with subtle nuance. She also enlists Nigerian hitmaker King Perryy on the melancholic heartbreak tune "911"—a remixed version of the original track that was released earlier in the year

Merry-Lynn's decision to work exclusively with Nigerian producer Veen on the project seemingly enabled her to truly experiment and find the distinctive sound that sets her apart from the crowd. Emotionally rich and enlightened, this tape is a smooth sonic ride for any lover of good music. There's no doubt that, with Petrichor, Merry-Lynn has delivered a reliably-solid debut.

We got to know the R&B newcomer a little bit more in a recent interview below.

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Tiwa Savage "Owo Mi Da" cover.

Tiwa Savage Drops Two New Songs 'Owo Mi Da' & 'Attention'

The Nigerian star has shared two new bangers—"Owo Mi Da" and "Attention"—a day early due to leaks.

Tiwa Savage has returned with not-one-but-two new singles, "Owo Mi Da" and "Attention."

While the tracks were originally slated to drop tomorrow, Wednesday, the Nigerian superstar rushed released them due to leaks. "You guys couldn't wait na so my songs don leak o .... FUCK IT OUT NOW," Tiwa wrote on her social pages.

The addictive and upbeat "Owo Mi Da" was co-written by fellow Nigerian hitmaker Olamide and produced by Pheelz.

Video: Tiwa Savage On Female Artists Having to Work Twice As Hard

The smoother "Attention" is a song aimed at a man who isn't taking enough notice of his woman. " I guarantee all the ladies will know the lyrics to this one word for word," Tiwa wrote about the track. It was produced by Blaqjerzee.

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