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Kabu Kabu Paperback – October 15, 2013
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About the Author
Nnedi saccolades includethe World Fantasy Award for Best Novel for "Who Fears Death".Her young adult novels are "Akata Witch" (an Amazon.com Best Book of the Year), "Zahrah the Windseeker" (winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for African Literature), and "The Shadow Speaker" (winner of the CBS Parallax Award). She is a professor of creative writing and literature at the University of Buffalo.
Top Customer Reviews
The title story deals with the kabu kabu which is, from what I understand, a less than um.. legal cab service in Nigeria. I could understand this from some real life, somewhat related experience as I spent some time in Jamaica and the foremost warning given to me was on the taxi cab services. However, I think had the potential for a ride similar to the one in Kabu Kabu been offered, I might just have taken them up on their offer.
The stories in Kabu Kabu are trippy, fun, far-fetched, laugh-out-loud funny, and enlightening. Okorafor's writing is a welcome, fresh distraction from much of the fantasy that I tend to read and a reminder that there are writers out there who focus on other mythologies and traditions - that fantasy does not have to be about some blonde-haired knight who is stuck between a savage and a cliff to jump off of. (Read the book, you'll understand.)
I don't know if Kabu Kabu will get the buzz it deserves. I know that I have given out Okorafor's name more times than I can count to various fantasy lovers. I wish I could force people to read her works - but since I can't, I'll just say here in this public setting that Okorafor is an author to be praised and Kabu Kabu is just another strong notch in her belt of great works.
Born in the US of Nigerian parents, Nnedi Okorafor developed strong ties to her parents' home country since her childhood. Not surprisingly, her stories here are set in Nigeria - the real and the imagined society. In fact, Okorafor is a convincing advocate for an African science fiction kind of storytelling. It opens, among others, new avenues for creating future realities.
Admittedly, I am not usually a great fan of speculative fiction, yet, Okorafor has captured my attention and imagination, from the first story to the last - all twenty one of them. I particular enjoyed the character of Arro-yo, the "windseeker", who appears in several somewhat linked stories. Arro-yo is an outcast in her community because she can capture the wind and fly. Okorafor expands with her stories on African folklore that singled out girls born with "locked hair" and who had special powers. They could bring misery and misfortune to their home and were therefore chased away. Arro-yo's adventures in Okorafor's stories are nonetheless anchored very much in reality, whether she is caught up in civil unrest or fears for her life for other reasons.Read more ›
And pro or con, I always felt somehow the lack was mine. So on the one hand, I felt as if Okorafor was a worthy author, I also felt that as a reader I was losing out whenever I tried her work.
Not in this case. With all the wonderful and not so wonderful webzines out there now, short speculative fiction abounds. And more and more I'm convinced that short fiction done well might be harder to produce than long form novels. Okorafor manages to deliver for me works that actually startled me with views very fresh and a voice that I have not enjoyed anywhere else. Part of it is the immersion in settings and cultures that few if any other authors manage to mix and meld with touch that manages to be deft, wry and silly. All often in the same work.
At the risk of sounding provincial, one of the chief delights is her ability to blend the ties between a nation embraced and the nation of birth still beating strongly in her characters' life blood. All the while delivering fantasy that is firmly rooted in the reality of recognizable life and the sublime wonders of an imagination unleashed.
If you love Okorafor's previous works, you will want to grab and savor this delightful feast of fantasy. If you have never tried her works, this is a great pool to jump into and explore. Be warned though, the quality of many of these short works might leave you aching futilely for greater length and exposition. But that is perhaps the best feeling any written work can leave one with, no?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved these stories and they made me want to know more! Particularly about the Windseeker character! Would love to read a full Kabu Kabu novel too.Published 2 months ago by Tegan Bristow
An excellent collection of stories. I'm only dinging it a star because of a few spelling errors and because it depressed me a few times.Published 4 months ago by Errol K. Lobo
By far my favorite collection of short stories. Ranging from the bizarre to the beautiful, these stories are one of a kind. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Just about all of these stories should become full length stories. Some of them already are... Can't wait for the restPublished 10 months ago by TheMayor
Great stories! I wanted each one of them to be a full length book or series. Really enjoy her writing!Published 15 months ago by Myisha M. Newton
I hesitated before clicking those three stars. Mostly because I know how I feel when I get less than four or five stars. I be all, who are you and what is wrong with you? Read morePublished 18 months ago by Sheree L Greer
This woman makes reading feel like Kindergarten! I can't wait to read anything she has written. She has such a beautiful descriptive way of writing that just catches you.Published on December 26, 2013 by jlnorm