Alexis Okeowo is a staff writer for the New Yorker and a fellow at New America. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, the Financial Times, Time, and Fortune, among many other publications. The daughter of immigrant parents, Okeowo grew up in Alabama and attended Princeton University. She was based in Lagos, Nigeria, from 2012 to 2015, and now lives in Brooklyn.
A Moonless, Starless Sky
A Moonless, Starless Sky weaves together four astonishing narratives: a young Ugandan couple, both kidnapping victims of Joseph Kony’s LRA; a Mauritanian waging a lonely campaign against modern-day slavery; women basketball players flourishing amid war-torn Somalia, despite threats against their lives; and a dual portrait of a young Nigerian girl—one of the Chibok schoolgirls–who escapes the clutches of Boko Haram and a government bureaucrat who decides to take up arms. In all of these stories Okeowo’s subjects are tethered to each other by their determination to resist in environments dominated by repression and silence.
Time after time, the media’s coverage of Africa has failed to go beyond the surface, the obvious stories. Okeowo’s work rejects those easy narratives; instead her book provides a window into what’s really happening in people’s daily lives in Africa and how people are taking their destiny into their own hands.