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Photo by Kelechi Okere

Chinelo Okparanta

Photo by Kelechi Okere

Chinelo Okparanta was born and raised in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and earned degrees from Pennsylvania State University, Rutgers University, and the Iowa Writers' Workshop. She is the author of the novels Harry Sylvester Bird (2022) and Under the Udala Trees (2015), and the short story collection Happiness, Like Water (2013), which was a New York Times Editors’ Choice, longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and was a finalist for the New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award as well as the Etisalat Prize for Literature.

Okparanta was also a finalist for the 2013 Caine Prize for African Writing and the 2017 International DUBLIN Literary Award, and winner of the Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Award in Fiction, the Betty Berzon Emerging Writer Award from the Publishing Triangle, a PEN/O. Henry Prize, and a two-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction,

She is currently Associate Professor of English and Director of the Program in Creative Writing at Swarthmore College.

  • 2017