Review: Kabu-Kabu

Kabu-Kabu – Nnedi Okorafor

9781607014058; LINKcat81qE+DL22bL

A kabu-kabu, for the unaware, is an illegal Nigerian taxicab–and the subject of a humorous, rollicking tale in Nnedi Okorafor’s first published short story collection.  Covering a variety of genres, including magical realism, fantasy, and science fiction, Kabu-Kabu is an inventive book that features Nigerian and Nigerian-American protagonists.  Okorafor’s stories do range in quality; she chooses to include the first short story she ever wrote, and the collection would, frankly, be stronger without it.  Standouts include the titular “Kabu-Kabu,” in which a woman looking for a ride to the airport gets more than she bargained for; “Spider the Artist,” in which a battered wife and a robot form an unlikely friendship; and the multiple stories set in the world of Windsingers, where some women can fly as easily as a wind blows.  Fans of world literature and speculative fiction alike may find themselves fans of Okorafor after sampling her work here.

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