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Binti: Home: 02/10/20

Binti: Home

Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor is the second of the Binti novellas. A year has passed, a year of Binti and Okwu being bound together. A year of being students at Oomza University. But it's time to return home and face her family, her elders, her people.

Binti returns home and is sent on a pilgrimage. An event that at one point would have been a huge spiritual experience for her isn't. She is as out of place at home as she is at Oomza — just differently so.

The pilgrimage though, does give her a chance to discover a new place for herself and Okwu in the universe. Put another way, it's a new perspective on their place in the universe.

In terms of the road narrative spectrum, the partnership between Binti and Okwu means a sharp move through the spectrum, from one extreme to nearly the other. This shift doesn't mean less power for Binti a traveler, rather it's a redistribution.

Chart showing the progression on the RNS from Binti to Home

As with the majority of texts I've read by non-white authors, the traveling of a couple or family makes for a stronger, safer journey, than traveling as an orphan. Here the entire journey is done together or done in relationship to each other. While not a romantic couple, Binti and Okwu are a couple (33).

While the title might imply that the destination is home, it's not. Instead, it's uhoria (CC). This uhoric destination is one through knew knowledge for Binti about her gift, her relationship to numbers, to technology and to to Okwu. She also learns of her family's heritage through the pilgrimage.

Finally there is the route. It's a twisty one but not a dangerous one. The pilgrimage is one of personal exploration and of learning. It is essentially a large scale labyrinth (99).

Put all together, Home is the tale of a couple's journey through the labyrinth to uhoria.

Five stars

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