Who Fears DeathBook - 2010
An award-winning literary author enters the world of magical realism with her World Fantasy Award-winning novel of a remarkable woman in post-apocalyptic Africa.
In a post-apocalyptic Africa, the world has changed in many ways; yet in one region genocide between tribes still bloodies the land. A woman who has survived the annihilation of her village and a terrible rape by an enemy general wanders into the desert, hoping to die. Instead, she gives birth to an angry baby girl with hair and skin the color of sand. Gripped by the certainty that her daughter is different-- special --she names her Onyesonwu, which means "Who fears death?" in an ancient language.
It doesn't take long for Onye to understand that she is physically and socially marked by the circumstances of her conception. She is Ewu --a child of rape who is expected to live a life of violence, a half-breed rejected by her community. But Onye is not the average Ewu . Even as a child, she manifests the beginnings of a remarkable and unique magic. As she grows, so do her abilities, and during an inadvertent visit to the spirit realm, she learns something terrifying: someone powerful is trying to kill her.
Desperate to elude her would-be murderer and to understand her own nature, she embarks on a journey in which she grapples with nature, tradition, history, true love, and the spiritual mysteries of her culture, and ultimately learns why she was given the name she bears: Who Fears Death.
From Library Staff
The novel is set in post-apocalyptic Sudan and mixes fantasy with magical realism. SFPL's January - February 2018 On The Same Page selection.
SFPL_ReadersAdvisory Dec 04, 2019
In a far future, post-nuclear-holocaust Africa, genocide plagues one region. The aggressors, the Nuru, have decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke. But when the only surviving member of a slain Okeke village is brutally raped, she manages to escape, wandering farther into the ... Read More »
The novel Who Fears Death is set in post-apocalyptic Sudan and mixes fantasy with magical realism. (In the book, one region’s genocide between tribes still bloodies the land.) After years of enslaving the Okeke people, the Nuru tribe has decided to follow the Great Book and exterminate the Okeke ... Read More »
In a far future, post-nuclear-holocaust Africa, genocide plagues one region.
Reared under the tutelage of a mysterious and traditional shaman, Onyesonwu discovers her magical destiny--to end the genocide of her people. The journey to fulfill her destiny will force her to grapple with nature, tr... Read More »
From the critics
AgeAdd Age Suitability
QuotesAdd a Quote
“We'll never know exactly why we are, what we are, and so on. All you can do is follow your path all the way to the wilderness, and then you continue along because that's what must be.”
“We all are born with burdens. Some of us more than others.”
Humiliation and confusion were the staples of my childhood. Is it a wonder that anger was never far behind?
SummaryAdd a Summary
Onyesonwu is Ewu, a child born of the violence that the Nuru have long visited upon the Okeke people they have enslaved in post-apocalyptic Sudan. Nuru and Okeke alike regard her as an abomination, but she is protected by her determined mother, and her highly respected adoptive father. Her magical talents begin to manifest early, setting her even further apart from her Okeke peers in the village of Jwahir. But things begin to change when she meets Mwita, an Ewu boy with connections to the village sorcerer, Aro, who has never agreed to take a woman as his student. Her untrained power ties her to a larger destiny, one will impact the future of Nuru and Okeke alike.