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Nnedi Okorafor wins World Fantasy Award

2nd November 2011

Nnedi Okorafor has won the World Fantasy Award for her post-apocalyptic novel Who Fears Death, following in the footsteps of previous winners including Haruki Murakami and Susanna Clarke.

Okorafor's book, set in Saharan Africa, charts the life of a woman named Onyesonwu who has great magical powers, and is inspired by the author's own experience of conflict in Sudan.

She beat off stiff competition from Karen Lord's Redemption in Indigo, N. K. Jemisin's The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms and Lauren Beukes' Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning Zoo City to scoop the prize.

Okorafor said she was 'utterly shocked' when the announcement was made and paid tribute to those who influenced her writing.

She added: 'Of all the novels I've written, I put the most of myself into Who Fears Death and it took the most from me. It took me several years to write, beginning with the death of my father. I started writing it because I loved him and he died. Writing out my pain was the only way I could cope with it.'

Last year's World Fantasy Award was won by China Mieville for his novel The City and the City, which also scooped the 2010 Arthur C. Clarke Award.

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