N. K. Jemisin
A photograph of N. K. Jemisin.
Jemisin in 2015
BornNora Keita Jemisin
(1972-09-19) September 19, 1972 (age 51)
Iowa City, Iowa, U.S.
  • Novelist
  • counseling psychologist
EducationTulane University (BS)
University of Maryland, College Park (MEd)

Nora Keita Jemisin[1] (born September 19, 1972) is an American science fiction and fantasy writer. Her fiction includes a wide range of themes, notably cultural conflict and oppression.[2][3] Her debut novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, and the subsequent books in her Inheritance Trilogy received critical acclaim. She has won several awards for her work, including the Locus Award. The three books of her Broken Earth series made her the first author to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel in three consecutive years, as well as the first to win for all three novels in a trilogy.[4] She won a fourth Hugo Award, for Best Novelette, in 2020 for Emergency Skin.[5] Jemisin was a recipient of the MacArthur Fellows Program Genius Grant in 2020.[6]

Early life

Jemisin was born in Iowa City, Iowa, while her parents Noah Jemisin and Janice (Finklea) Jemisin were completing masters programs at the University of Iowa.[7] She grew up in New York City and Mobile, Alabama. Jemisin attended Tulane University from 1990 to 1994, where she received a B.S. in psychology. She went on to study counseling and earn her Master of Education from the University of Maryland. She lived in Massachusetts for ten years and then moved to New York City.[8] She worked as a counseling psychologist and career counselor before writing full-time.[8][2]


A graduate of the 2002 Viable Paradise writing workshop,[9] Jemisin has published short stories and novels. She was a member of the Boston-area writing group BRAWLers,[10] and as of 2010 was a member of Altered Fluid, a speculative fiction critique group.[10] In 2009 and 2010, Jemisin's short story "Non-Zero Probabilities" was a finalist for the Nebula and Hugo Best Short Story Awards.[11]

Jemisin's debut novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, the first volume in her Inheritance Trilogy, was published in 2010. It was nominated for the 2010 Nebula Award and short-listed for the James Tiptree Jr. Award.[12][13] In 2011, it was nominated for the Hugo Award, World Fantasy Award,[14] and Locus Award, winning the 2011 Locus Award for Best First Novel.[15] It was followed by two further novels in the same trilogy – The Broken Kingdoms in 2010 and The Kingdom of Gods in 2011.

During her delivery of the Guest of Honour speech at the 2013 Continuum in Australia, Jemisin pointed out that 10% of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) membership voted for alt-right writer Theodore Beale in his bid for the SFWA presidential position, stating that silence about Beale's views was the same as enabling them.[16] Beale's response to Jemisin was condemned as "an appallingly racist screed".[17] A link to his comments was tweeted on the SFWA Authors Twitter feed, and Beale was subsequently expelled from the organization after a unanimous vote by the SFWA Board.[18]

Jemisin was a co-Guest of Honor of the 2014 WisCon science fiction convention in Madison, Wisconsin.[19] At that time, GQ described her as having "a day job as a counseling psychologist."[20] She was the Author Guest of Honor at Arisia 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.[21] In January 2016, Jemisin started writing "Otherworldly", a bimonthly column for The New York Times.[22] In May 2016, Jemisin mounted a Patreon campaign which raised sufficient funding to allow her to quit her job as a counseling psychologist and focus full-time on her writing.[23]

Jemisin's novel The Fifth Season was published in 2015, the first of the Broken Earth trilogy. The Fifth Season won the Hugo Award for Best Novel, making Jemisin the first African-American writer to win a Hugo award in that category.[24] The sequels in the trilogy, The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky, won the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2017[25] and 2018,[26] respectively, making Jemisin the first author to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel in three consecutive years, as well as the first to win for all three novels in a trilogy.[4] In 2017, Bustle called Jemisin "the sci-fi writer every woman needs to be reading".[27]

With Mac Walters, Jemisin co-authored the 2017 book Mass Effect: Andromeda Initiation, the second in a book series based on the video game Mass Effect: Andromeda.[28] Jemisin published a short story collection, How Long 'til Black Future Month? in November 2018.[29] It contains stories written from 2004 to 2017 and four new works. Far Sector, a twelve-issue limited series comic written by Jemisin with art by Jamal Campbell, began publication in 2019. It was nominated for the 2021 Eisner Award for Best Limited Series.[30]

Jemisin's urban fantasy novel The City We Became was published in March 2020. In October 2020, Jemisin was announced as a recipient of the MacArthur Fellows Program Genius Grant.[6] In June 2021, Sony's TriStar Pictures won the rights to adapt The Broken Earth trilogy in a seven-figure deal with Jemisin adapting the novels for the screen herself.[31] In 2021, she was included in the Time 100, Time's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.[32] The World We Make, a sequel to Jemisin's 2020 novel, was released in November 2022.

Personal life

Jemisin lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.[33] She is first cousin once removed to stand-up comic and television host W. Kamau Bell.[34][35]

Awards and honors

  W   Won   N   Nominated


In 2022, Kirkus Reviews named The World We Make one of the best science fiction and fantasy books of the year.[36]

Book / Awards[37] Hugo Locus Nebula World
The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (2010) N W N N [37]
The Kingdom of Gods (2011) N N [37]
The Killing Moon (2012) N N N [37]
The Fifth Season (2015) W N N N [23][38]
The Obelisk Gate (2016) W N N N [25][39]
The Stone Sky (2017) W W W [26][37]
The City We Became (2020) N W N [37]

Jemisin is the first author to win three successive Hugo Awards for Best Novel.[40] She has also received the following accolades:

Short fiction

Work / Awards[37] Hugo Locus Nebula
Non-Zero Probabilities (2009) N N
The City Born Great (2016) N N
How Long 'til Black Future Month? (2018) W
Emergency Skin (2019) W N

Selected bibliography


Inheritance Trilogy

Main article: The Inheritance Trilogy (Jemisin series)

A novella entitled The Awakened Kingdom set as a sequel to the Inheritance Trilogy was released along with an omnibus of the trilogy on December 9, 2014.[45]

A "triptych" entitled Shades in Shadow was released on July 28, 2015. It contained three short stories, including a prequel to the trilogy.[46]

Dreamblood Duology

Broken Earth series

Mass Effect: Andromeda

Great Cities Series

The short story "The City Born Great", released in 2016, is a precursor to the series.

Short stories

Short story collections



See also


  1. ^ Shapiro, Lila (November 29, 2018). "For Reigning Fantasy Queen N.K. Jemisin, There's No Escape From Reality". Vulture. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "N.K. Jemisin on THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS". Orbit Blog (Blog). Orbit Books. August 22, 2012. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  3. ^ Novik, Naomi (August 12, 2015). "Book Review: 'The Fifth Season,' by N. K. Jemisin". The New York Times. Retrieved August 31, 2018.
  4. ^ a b El-Mohtar, Amal (March 24, 2020). "When a Sinister Enemy Attacks New York, the City Fights Back". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 22, 2020.
  5. ^ "Hugo Awards". Twitter. Retrieved June 10, 2022.
  6. ^ a b "N. K. Jemisin". MacArthur Foundation. October 6, 2020.
  7. ^ Khatchadourian, Raffi (January 27, 2020). "N. K. Jemisin's Dream Worlds". The New Yorker.
  8. ^ a b "N.K. Jemisin: Rites of Passage". Locus. August 18, 2010. She studied psychology at Tulane in New Orleans, and went to grad school to study counseling at the University of Maryland-College Park.
  9. ^ "N.K. Jemisin: Rites of Passage". Locus. August 18, 2010. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  10. ^ a b Jones, Jeremy L. C. (August 2010). "Even the Best Stories Have Flaws: Inside Altered Fluid". Clarkesworld Magazine.
  11. ^ Jemisin, N. K. (September 2009). "Non-Zero Probabilities". Clarkesworld Magazine. No. 36. Retrieved August 16, 2017.
  12. ^ "2010 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Tres Barbas, LLC. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  13. ^ "2010 James Tiptree, Jr. Award". James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award. James Tiptree Jr. Literary Council. March 21, 2011. Retrieved August 28, 2018.
  14. ^ "World Fantasy Nominees and Lifetime Achievement Winners". Locus. July 28, 2011.
  15. ^ "Locus Awards 2011 Winners". Locus. June 25, 2011.
  16. ^ Khanna, Rajan (November 26, 2013). "Controversies Inside the World of Science Fiction and Fantasy". Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  17. ^ El-Mohtar, Amal (June 13, 2013). "Calling for the Expulsion of Theodore Beale from SFWA". Archived from the original on February 6, 2021. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  18. ^ "SFWA Board Votes to Expel Beale". Locus. August 14, 2013.
  19. ^ "Announcing WisCon 38's Guests of Honor: Hiromi Goto and N.K. Jemisin" A Momentary Taste of WisCon 37 (Elizabeth Stone, ed.) Issue #4 (May 26, 2013), p. 2.
  20. ^ Rivera, Joshua. "N.K. Jemisin Is Trying to Keep the World From Ending". GQ. Retrieved March 27, 2020. But there were those in the speculative fiction community who still didn't want her, or anyone like her—a black woman born in Iowa City and raised between Mobile, Alabama and Brooklyn, New York with a day job as a counseling psychologist— to have a seat at the same table as them.
  21. ^ "Guest of Honor Bios". Arisia 2015.
  22. ^ Zutter, Natalie (January 4, 2016). "N.K. Jemisin Launches SFF Column at The New York Times Book Review". Tor.com. Retrieved August 13, 2017.
  23. ^ a b c Kehe, Jason (June 7, 2016). "WIRED Book Club: Fantasy Writer N.K. Jemisin on the Weird Dreams That Fuel Her Stories". Wired. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  24. ^ Alter, Alexander (August 24, 2016), "N. K. Jemisin on Diversity in Science Fiction and Inspiration From Dreams", The New York Times.
  25. ^ a b "2017 Hugo Awards". Retrieved August 11, 2017.
  26. ^ a b "2018 Hugo Awards". August 19, 2018.
  27. ^ Wilson, Kristian (January 10, 2017). "The Sci-Fi Writer Every Woman Needs To Be Reading Has 3 New Books Coming". Bustle. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  28. ^ a b Liz Bourke (November 30, 2017). "Space Espionage — Mass Effect: Initiation by N.K. Jemisin and Mac Walters". Tor.com. Retrieved May 4, 2020.
  29. ^ "Gorgeous 'Black Future Month' Tracks A Writer's Development". NPR.org. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  30. ^ "DC Garners Seventeen 2021 Eisner Award Nominations". DC Comics. Retrieved June 10, 2021.
  31. ^ Fleming, Mike Jr (June 4, 2021). "N.K. Jemisin Book Series 'The Broken Earth' Lands At Sony's TriStar In 7-Figure Deal; Author To Adapt". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Media Corporation.
  32. ^ Specker, Lawrence (September 15, 2021). "Time's '100 most influential' list includes trio with Alabama ties". AL.com. Retrieved November 14, 2021.
  33. ^ Payne, Marshall (June 28, 2011). "Nebula Awards 2010 Interview: N.K. Jemisin". SFWA. Retrieved January 14, 2016.
  34. ^ Bell, W. Kamau. The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell. New York, NY: Dutton, 2017, pp. 24, 28. ISBN 978-1-101-98587-8.
  35. ^ Schaub, Michael (August 22, 2016). "Women and writers of color win big at Hugo Awards and the Puppies are even sadder". Los Angeles Times.
  36. ^ "Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of 2022". Kirkus Reviews. Retrieved November 27, 2022.
  37. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "N. K. Jemisin Awards". Science Fiction Awards Database. Locus Science Fiction Foundation. Archived from the original on May 5, 2021.
  38. ^ "2016 Hugo Awards". The Hugo Awards. Retrieved October 13, 2016.
  39. ^ "SFWA Announces 2016 Nebula, Norton, and Bradbury Award Nominees!". The Nebula Awards. February 20, 2017. Retrieved March 6, 2017.
  40. ^ Clute, John; Langford, David; et al., eds. (June 28, 2021). "Jemisin, N K". The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (3rd ed.). Gollancz. Archived from the original on January 14, 2021.
  41. ^ "William L. Crawford – IAFA Fantasy Award 2011". Science Fiction Awards Database. Locus Science Fiction Foundation. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  42. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Alt55nkjXGI "BSFA 2020 Awards Announcement", accessed on 4 April 2021
  43. ^ "American Library Association announces 2019 youth media award winners". American Library Association. January 28, 2019. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  44. ^ "The Inheritance Trilogy". Nkjemisin.com.
  45. ^ "So, about that Seekrit Project I've been working on…". Nkjemisin.com. April 30, 2014.
  46. ^ "Now it can be told!". Nkjemisin.com. June 25, 2015.
  47. ^ Das, Indrapramit (May 2, 2012). "In Dreams: N.K. Jemisin's The Killing Moon". Slant Magazine. Archived from the original on May 16, 2012. Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  48. ^ White, N. E. "The Shadowed Sun by N. K. Jemisin – SFFWorld". Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  49. ^ "Escape Pod 38: L'Alchimista". Escape Pod. January 25, 2006. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  50. ^ "The City Born Great". tor.com. May 12, 2020.
  51. ^ "2020 Hugo, Lodestar, and Astounding Awards Winners". Locus Online. August 1, 2020. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  52. ^ "Gorgeous 'Black Future Month' Tracks A Writer's Development". NPR.org. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
  53. ^ Jemisin, N. K.; Valentine, Genevieve; San Juan, Eric; Hasan, Zaki (2011). Segal, Stephen H. (ed.). Geek Wisdom: The Sacred Teachings of Nerd Culture. Quirk Books. ISBN 9781594745270.
  54. ^ "DC Garners Seventeen 2021 Eisner Award Nominations". DC Comics. Retrieved June 10, 2021.