Binti's Story Is Finished — But Don't Expect Completion

The Night Masquerade Nnedi Okorafor’s Binti trilogy is now complete: The Night Masquerade is the final instalment in a series she’s described as "African girl leaves home. African girl returns home. African girl becomes home." It’s a beautiful proposed structure, a Hero’s Journey that rings truer for me than Joseph Campbell’s, resonating deeply with my experiences of diaspora, roots, and community. Binti left her Himba family on Earth in order to travel to Oomza University, far beyond the stars; she left Oomza in an attempt to manage her trauma and find herself again in the deserts of her home; and there, in the desert, she incorporated new revelations about her history into the anthology of herself, before being shocked into an awareness of impending doom. But Okorafor has also warned "Don’t go into the story expecting specific things because of the label slapped on it" — a warning I should’ve perhaps taken to include her own description of the trilogy. From "African girl becomes home," I expected the third book to synthesise the material in the previous two, to give some sense of completion and a new, different wholeness. What I got, instead, was a book that seemed to […]

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