October 29, 2021

Conversation with author Nnedi Okorafor set for Wednesday as part of 'Big Read' program

Award-winning science fiction author Nnedi Okorafor will visit Purdue as part of the Department of English’s annual “Big Read” program. Moderated by Professor Rayvon Fouché, “A Conversation with Nnedi Okorafor” will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday (Nov. 3) in the Black Cultural Center. Seating for the event is limited; registration is required.

Nnedi Okorafor is a bestselling Nigerian-American writer who has quickly gained a reputation as one of the foremost voices in contemporary science fiction. The "Binti" collection consists of a trio of novellas — "Binti" (2015), "Binti: Home" (2017) and "Binti: The Night Masquerade" (2018) — as well as a new short story. "Binti" won the Hugo, Nebula and Nommo awards for best science fiction novella.

The series introduces readers to Okorafor’s unique brand of “Africanfuturism.” Set on Earth and in space, it tells the story of a young woman from Namibia who negotiates the stress of leaving home and heading off to college, confronting past tradition and future prospects as she struggles to find her place in an alien environment. Relying on her love of mathematics and also newfound friendships, Binti must negotiate prejudice, self-doubt, and trauma as the narrative builds to high-stakes conflicts between groups on Earth and beyond.

Registration is available online. Masks and front-desk check-in are required at the Black Cultural Center. A livestream with captions will be available on the Big Read website.

The English department’s Big Read, now in its fifth year, is designed to enrich Greater Lafayette through literature. Each year, the department selects a book and creates a calendar of engaging activities. Free copies of the text are provided to community partners thanks to the Harriet M. Crews and Sandra K. Biggs Endowment for the Department of English in Support of the Big Read.

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