Broken Places & Outer Spaces: Finding Creativity in the Unexpected

Broken Places & Outer Spaces: Finding Creativity in the Unexpected Review

A powerful journey from star athlete to sudden paralysis to creative awakening, award-winning science fiction writer Nnedi Okorafor shows that what we think are our limitations have the potential to become our greatest strengths.

Nnedi Okorafor was never supposed to be paralyzed. A college track star and budding entomologist, Nnedi’s lifelong battle with scoliosis was just a bump in her plan—something a simple operation would easily correct. But when Nnedi wakes from the surgery to find she can’t move her legs, her entire sense of self begins to waver. Confined to a hospital bed for months, unusual things begin to happen. Psychedelic bugs crawl her hospital walls; strange dreams visit her nightly. Nnedi begins to put these experiences into writing, conjuring up strange, fantastical stories. What Nnedi discovers during her confinement would prove to be the key to her life as a successful science fiction author: In science fiction, when something breaks, something greater often emerges from the cracks.

In Broken Places & Outer Spaces, Nnedi takes the reader on a journey from her hospital bed deep into her memories, from her painful first experiences with racism as a child in Chicago to her powerful visits to her parents’ hometown in Nigeria. From Frida Kahlo to Mary Shelly, she examines great artists and writers who have pushed through their limitations, using hardship to fuel their work. Through these compelling stories and her own, Nnedi reveals a universal truth: What we perceive as limitations have the potential to become our greatest strengths—far greater than when we were unbroken.

A guidebook for anyone eager to understand how their limitations might actually be used as a creative springboard, Broken Places & Outer Spaces is an inspiring look at how to open up new windows in your mind.

Title:Broken Places & Outer Spaces: Finding Creativity in the Unexpected
Edition Language:English

    Broken Places & Outer Spaces: Finding Creativity in the Unexpected Reviews

  • Gretchen Rubin

    I love Okorafor's fiction, and was always curious to learn more about her life, so I was thrilled to get the chance to read this memoir. Short and powerful....

  • Britta Böhler

    Some interesting thoughts on creativity but the book was way to short (112 pages) to develop any of them in depth.2.5*...

  • Vanessa Halls

    A quick and inspiring read. Okorafor's lush literary style is on full display, and every page packed a punch. It's not everyday you get such a brutally honest and intimate offering from one of your fa...

  • Christen

    I fell in love with Binti last year. I honestly knew nothing about the author other than I should really read more of her stuff. I really enjoyed hearing Ms. Okorafor's stories of how and why she bega...

  • Hannah

    I listened to the audiobook version (read by the author) and I was actually shocked by how short it was: even shorter than novellas like Binti.If you are familiar with Nnedi Okorafor's fiction, there ...

  • Laura Hoffman Brauman

    Nnedi Okorafor is an auto-buy author for me -- I love her work. This is a TED talk she did regarding her personal experiences when she was a college student and athlete and a surgery for scoliosis lef...

  • Marzie

    Acclaimed author Nnedi Okorafor's moving account of her experience with paralysis following scoliosis surgery at nineteen sheds insight into so much of her work. From her love of insects to her fright...

  • Sierra

    Love it. ...

  • Richard

    You may hold this against me but I do not care to know about the private lives of authors, actors, or athletes that I follow. I focus on their work. What they do in their private lives does not effect...

  • Katherine

    When author Nnedi Okorafor was younger, she had severe scoliosis. Once its progression worsened to a point where surgical correction was needed, she was brought in to have some of her vertebrae fused ...