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Muhlenberg Common Read

The Common Read at Muhlenberg College unites the community around one title read by all.

Common Read 2022: Binti

Binti: The Complete Trilogy by Nnedi OkoraforBinti: The Complete Trilogy by Nnedi Okorafor
@Trexler Library: JUV O41t, on reserve and in circulating collection


Includes a brand-new Binti story!

Collected for the first time in a trade paperback omnibus edition, the Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning Binti trilogy, the story of one extraordinary girl’s journey from her home to distant Oomza University.

In her Hugo- and Nebula-winning novella, Nnedi Okorafor introduced us to Binti, a young Himba girl with the chance of a lifetime: to attend the prestigious Oomza University. Despite her family’s concerns, Binti’s talent for mathematics and her aptitude with astrolabes make her a prime candidate to undertake this interstellar journey.
But everything changes when the jellyfish-like Medusae attack Binti’s spaceship, leaving her the only survivor. Now, Binti must fend for herself, alone on a ship full of the beings who murdered her crew, with five days until she reaches her destination.
There is more to the history of the Medusae—and their war with the Khoush—than first meets the eye. If Binti is to survive this voyage and save the inhabitants of the unsuspecting planet that houses Oomza Uni, it will take all of her knowledge and talents to broker the peace.
But even if Binti achieves this remarkable feat, it’s not the end of her story. For this lone Himba woman, now bonded with a Medusa and forever changed by this bond, still must find a way to survive and thrive at Oomza University amid swirling interspecies biases. And eventually, she must return home to test the strength of the fragile peace she worked so hard to win.

~ Provided by publisher.

Themes around Binti

Why read science fiction? What can we learn? Examining Binti can be done through a variety of different lenses. Below are links to other library guides related to some of the themes that come through in Nnedi Okorafor's Binti trilogy. The list below provides just a few of the themes that can be explored more deeply but does not represent a complete listing of possible themes of this novel. 

Are you examining Binti in a way that is not represented here? Explore other library guides for resources and links. 

Library Resources on Mohsin Hamid

Gale Literary Criticism Online

MLA International Bibliography on Mohsin Hamid

Other works by Mohsin Hamid at Trexler Library


Awards, Reviews & Interviews


  • Hugo Award for Best Novella, winner [more]
  • Nebula Award for Best Novella, winner [more]
  • A British Science Fiction Association Award (Best Short), finalist [more]
  • BooktubeSFF Award for Best Short Work (Popular Vote), winner
  • A Locus Award (Best Novella), finalist [more]
  • British Fantasy Award (Best Novella), finalist [more]
  • Hugo Award nominee for Best Novella (Home & The Night Masquerade)


El-Mohtar, Amal. "Binti's Story Is Finished — But Don't Expect Completion." NPR Book Reviews, January 27, 2018.

Grilo, Ana. "An Interstellar Identity." Kirkus Reviews, October 2, 2015

Hobbs, Caitlin. "20 of the Best Science Fiction Books of All Time." Book Riot, August 10, 2022.

Video Interviews

Berkeley Arts + Design. "A Conversation with Nnedi Okorafor." Arts + Design Mondays @ BAMPFA, June 24, 2019.

KSJE FM. "Binti author Nnedi Okorafor." KSJE FM Visual Radio, October 16, 2019.

Okorafor. Nnedi. "Sci-fi stories that imagine a future Africa." TED Talks, November 22, 2017.


Campus Events

Exit West – An Invitation to the Conversation
September 3, 2022 (7–8:45 p.m.)
Miller Forum, Moyer Hall
Faculty Panelists: Jim Bloom, Ioanna Chatzidimitriou and Sharon Albert

This opening event features a panel of Muhlenberg faculty presenting brief reflections on Mohsin Hamid’s novel, Exit West, followed by an invitation to the campus community to join in an opening discussion of the Center for Ethics theme via key themes, moments, characters and symbols presented in Hamid’s work.

Additional Programs: Center for Ethics