100 pages • 3 hours readNnedi Okorafor
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An excerpt from Fast Facts for Free Agents describes Udide, the Great Hairy Spider, who changes gender and excels at trickery and ideas. The author warns not to trust Udide’s Book of Shadows.
That Saturday, Sunny leaves when her parents are half-awake to meet Sasha, Chichi and Orlu. They discuss a story in the Leopard Knocks newspaper about Black Hat, who recently gouged a child’s eyes out. When they go to Anatov’s, he says Kehinde was impressed with them, and he wants to become Sasha’s mentor and train him for the second Leopard level. Anatov sends the group to see another scholar, Taiwo, and to buy books on the way. Before they cross into Leopard Knocks, Chichi shows Sunny how to call up music and create a juju pouch. Sunny speaks into the juju pouch to bring out her spirit face. She crosses the bridge confidently with her spirit face, and she is also able to turn invisible, rushing past Sasha and Orlu on the other side and earning chittim.
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At Bola’s Book Store, the children each buy the book Advanced Juju Knife Jujus and another book of their choice. Sasha buys Udide’s Book of Shadows. Sunny buys a book on the Nsibidi language, a kind of proto-writing developed in southern Nigeria, because she sees symbols in the book moving.
By Nnedi Okorafor