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Africa’s Most Anticipated Books of 2024

Africa’s Most Anticipated Books of 2024

Afrocritik's Anticipated African Books of 2024 (2)

In these books, we are being treated to elemental stories of war, social dilemma, myth, sexuality, love, and a range of familiar issues confronting our continent today…

By Editorial

As 2023 rapidly winds down, it can be said that it has been an enriching year for African literature, as the scene was replete with landmark moments. Some of the continent’s finest storytellers and poets sent their debut works into the world, while others consolidated on already stellar careers. To that end, Afrocritik noted some essays and remarkable stories that made an impact this year. We were also gladdened by announcements of nominations and triumphs of African books and writing on the platforms of international literary prize winners as well as recipients of mouth-watering book deals. Some of those books, by both established and debut authors, are highly anticipated in the year 2024.

These forthcoming books capture the nuances, intricacies, and multilayered nature of the African experience through conscious and powerful storytelling. Amidst stunning synopses and riveting excerpts, 2024 looks to be monumental for African literature. In these books, we are being treated to elemental stories of war, social dilemma, myth, sexuality, love, and a range of familiar issues confronting our continent today. At Afrocritik, we are excited to present you our list of anticipated books for the coming year. 

FICTION 

The Road to the Country by Chigozie Obioma (Hogarth)

Expected Release Date: May 2024 

The Road to the Country by Chigozie Obioma - Afrocritik
PenguinRandomHouse.com

Set in Nigeria in the late 1960s, The Road to the Country is an epic war story involving a shy, bookish student, Kunle, haunted by long-held guilt and shame, who must go to war to free himself. Kunle’s search for his brother becomes a journey of atonement that will see him conscripted into the breakaway Biafran army and forced to fight a war he hardly understands. 

Blessings by Chukwuebuka Ibeh (Penguin)

Expected Release Date: February 2024 

Blessings by Chukwuebuka Ibeh | Afrocritik
Goodreads

Ibeh’s heartfelt debut is the story of a young gay man’s coming of age in a Nigerian boarding school. Part of the description reads: “Obiefuna’s father witnesses an intimate moment between his teenage son and the family’s apprentice, newly arrived from the nearby village, he banishes Obiefuna to a Christian boarding school marked by strict hierarchy and routine, devastating violence. Utterly alienated from the people he loves, Obiefuna begins a journey of self-discovery and blossoming desire.” 

The Liquid Eyes of a Moon by Uchenna Awoke (Catapult)

Expected Release Date: June 2024 

The Liquid Eye of a Moon by Uchenna Awoke | Afrocritik
PenguinRandomHouse.com

Described as a Nigerian Catcher in the Rye, Uchenna Awoke’s debut is about the not-too-well-known caste system in Igboland. Part of the description reads: “Fifteen-year-old Dimkpa dreams of the day his father will be made village head. He will return to school and maybe even go on to university; his mother will no longer have to break her back foraging for wild food to sell at the market; they will have the money to build a fine tomb for his aunt Okike; and his family’s status as ohu ma, the lowest Igbo caste, won’t matter anymore. But when his father is passed over for a younger man, breaking tradition, Dimkpa realises that he must make his own fate.” 

Crooked Seeds by Karen Jennings (Random House/Masobe)

Expected Release Date: April 2024 

Crooked Seeds - Masobe Books - Karen Jennings - Afrocritik
Masobe

In Jennings Crooked Seeds, a woman in post-Apartheid South Africa confronts her family’s troubling past. The fourth novel from the Booker-longlisted South African author, it promises to be her best offering yet. 

And So I Roar by Abi Dare (Dutton)

Expected Release Date: August 2024 

And So I Roar: A Novel - Afrocritik
Amazon

The sequel to her widely popular first novel, The Girl with Louding Voice, Dare’s second novel takes off from where the first left off in a narrative – described as heartwrenching. 

Pride and Joy by Louisa Onome (HarperCollins Canada) 

Expected Release Date: March 2024 

Pride and Joy by Louisa Onomé | Afrocritik
Goodreads

Onome’s heartwarming and humorous novel is about three generations of a Nigerian-Canadian family grappling with their matriarch’s sudden passing. 

We Were Girls Once by Aiwanose Odafen (Simon and Schuster) 

Expected Release Date: April 2024 

We Were Girls Once | Book by Aiwanose Odafen | Afrocritik
Simon & Schuster UK

Odafen’s sophomore novel follows the travails of three women in post-independence Nigeria, and their changing fortunes in the volatile environment of a country grappling with multiple political problems. 

Grow Where They Fall by Michael Donkor (Fig Tree Penguin)

Expected Release Date: March 2024 

Grow WHere They Fall - Afrocritik
Michael Donkor / X (Twitter)

Donkor’s moving second novel is about a young man finding the courage to expand the limits of who he might become. Part of the description read: “Bright and precocious ten-year-old Kwame Akromah knows how to behave. He knows the importance of good manners, how to stay at the top of the class and out of the way when his mother and father are angry with each other. But when his charismatic cousin Yaw arrives from Ghana to live with the family while he looks for work, the rules Kwame has learned about the world can no longer guide him.” 

The Road to the Salt Sea by Samuel Kolawole (HarperCollins)

Expected Release Date: July 2024 

The Road to the Salt Sea – Afrocritik
HarperCollins

Described as a searing exploration of the global migration crisis that moves from Nigeria to Libya to Italy, Kolawole ‘s novel follows its main character, Able God, who works for low pay at a four-star hotel where he must flash his “toothpaste-white smile” for wealthy guests. But Able’s ordinary life is upended when an early morning room service order leads him to interfere with Akudo, a sex worker involved with a powerful but dangerous hotel guest. Suddenly caught in a web of violence, guilt, and fear, Able must run to save himself. 

A Kind of Madness: Stories by Uche Okonkwo

Expected Release Date: April 2024 

Uche Okonkwo's A Kind of Madness. -- Afrocritik
Literary Hub

Written in clear, evocative prose, part of the description for this debut collection reads: “Set in contemporary Nigeria, Uche Okonkwo’s A Kind of Madness is a collection of ten stories concerned with literal madness but also those private feelings that, when left unspoken, can feel like a type of madness: desire, desperation, hunger, fear, sadness, shame, longing.” 

The Lagos Wife by Vanessa Walters (Cornerstone)

Expected Release Date: February 2024  

The Lagos Wife - Afrocritik
Penguin Books

Walter’s second novel follows Nicole Owuari, who has a perfect life in Lagos, having left London and a troubled family past behind to become part of a community of expat wives. However, when Nicole disappears without a trace after a boat trip, the cracks in her so-called perfect life start to show.  

Allow Me to Introduce Myself  by Onyi Nwabineli (Graydon House Books)

Expected Release Date: May 2024 

Allow Me to Introduce Myself | Afrocritik
Oneworld

Part of the description reads: “Ever since she was a child, Anuri’s life was chronicled and monetised by her influencer stepmother. Now an adult, she’s finally broken free. But when her stepmother starts preying on her young half-sister, Anuri decides she must stop the cycle of abuse”. 

She Who Knows by Nnedi Okoroafor (DAW Books)

Expected Release Date: August 2024 

The novella is billed as a prequel to the Nigerian-American author’s acclaimed novel, Who Fears Death. It is also part of a three-book project by the famous speculative fiction author. 

Lost Ark Dreaming by Suyi Davies Okungbowa (Macmillan/Tor)

Expected Release Date: May 2024 

Lost Ark Dreaming - Suyi Davies Okungbowa - Afrocritik
Masobe

Billed as ideal for fans of Snowpiercer and The Deep, this high-octane sci-fi novel captures a futuristic Lagos in a post-climate disaster narrative. 

Children of Anguish and Anarchy by Tomi Adeyemi (Macmillan)

Expected Release Date: June 2024 

Children of Anguish and Anarchy by Tomi Adeyemi - Afrocritik

Children of Anguish and Anarchy is the last novel in Adeyemi’s monumental fantasy trilogy titled Legacy of Orisha. This book continues where the last left off. 

In the Shadow of the Fall by Tobi Ogundiran (Macmillan)

Expected Release Date: July 2024  

In the Shadow of the Fall - Afrocritik
Macmillan

In this fantasy novella, a cosmic war reignites and the fate of the Orisha lies in the hands of an untried acolyte. The book will be published in July 2024. 

Parasol Against the Axe by Helen Oyeyemi (Penguin)

Expected Release Date: January 2024 

Parasol Against the Axe by Helen Oyeyemi - Afrocritik
PenguinRandomHouse.com

The acclaimed author’s new novel is about competitive friendship, the elastic boundaries of storytelling, and the meddling influence of the city of Prague. Part of the description reads: “For reasons of her own, Hero Tojosoa accepts an invitation she was half expected to decline, and finds herself in Prague on a bachelorette weekend hosted by her estranged friend Sofie. Little does she know she’s arrived in a city with a penchant for playing tricks on the unsuspecting.”

Where Sleeping Girls Lie by Faridah Abike-Iyimide (Feiwel & Friends)

Expected Release Date: March 2024 

Where Sleeping Girls Lie eBook : Àbíké-Íyímídé, Faridah: Afrocritik
Amazon

In this YA mystery by the bestselling author of Ace of Spades, a new girl in a boarding school discovers dark secrets and coverups after her roommate disappears. 

Ghostroots by ‘Pemi Aguda (W. W. Norton|Masobe)

Expected Release Date: May 2024 

Ghostroots – Afrocritik
Masobe

Aguda’s debut collection of stories is set in a hauntingly reimagined Lagos where characters vie for freedom from ancestral ties. 

Water Baby by Chioma Okereke (Quercus)

Expected Release Date: April 2024 

Water Baby by Chioma Okereke - Afrocritik
Audible.com

This uplifting coming-of-age tale follows a young girl growing up in the notorious Lagos floating slum of Makoko. Part of the description reads: “In Makoko, the floating slum off mainland Lagos, Nigeria, nineteen-year-old Baby yearns for an existence where she can escape the future her father has planned for her. With opportunities scarce, Baby jumps at the chance to join a newly launched drone-mapping project, aimed at broadening the visibility of her community. Then a video of her at work goes viral and Baby finds herself with options she could never have imagined.” 

Only Big Bum-Bum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku (Harper Collins|Masobe)

Expected Release Date: July 2024 

Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow book cover - Afrocritik

In this polyphonic novel by the author of the bestselling story collection, Nearly All Men in Lagos Are Mad, social trends are twined with family secrets, judgmental aunties, and BBLs. 

Broken: Not A Halal Love Story by Fatima Bala (Masobe) 

Broken. Not a halal love story by Fatima Bala | Afrocritik
Goodreads

Bala’s novel is a rich and thoughtful exploration of love, faith, family and friendships that explore the length the individual is willing to go for love and the various ways we bend ourselves to fit into the delicate crevices of love. 

The Incredible Dreams of Garba Dakaskus by Umar Abubakar Sidi (Masobe)

Expected Release Date: May 2024  

The Incredible Dreams of Garba Dakaskus - Afrocritik
Masobe

This wide ambitious novel is a philosophical quest through time in search of a book with obscure origins which might contain the secrets of the alphabet and offer the reader a divine glimpse behind the veil that shrouds our plane of existence. 

After the End by Olukorede S. Yishau (Masobe)

Expected Release Date: July 2024  

After the End by Olukorede S. Yishau - Afrocritik
Masobe

The story of two women linked by a common tragedy and how they navigate a web of betrayal, racism and motherhood. The description partly reads: “Idera’s world crumbles when her husband, Demola, dies. As she battles with this reality, she is met with a shocking discovery. A woman appears at her door with a child in hand — Demola’s son.” 

How to Make a Space Masquerade and Other Speculative Stories by Mazi Nwonwu (Narrative Landscape) 

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Paul Ngila Njeri - In conversation with Afrocritik - James Currey Prize Winner 2023

Nwonwu’s collection of speculative stories ranges widely across time, space, and myth. 

Half Portraits Under Water by Dennis Mugaa (Masobe)

Expected Release Date: August 2024 

Dennis Mugaa - Half Portraits Under Water - Afrocritik
Masobe

Mugaa’s Half Portraits Under Water is a collection of ten loosely interlinked stories that explore love, loss, and the interconnected nature of human experiences. 

Like Water Like Sea by Olumide Popoola (Cassava Republic)

Expected Release Date: May 2024 

Like Water Like Sea | Olumide Popoola | Afrocritik
NetGalley

This is an immersive novel of self-discovery, resilience, and the unifying power of love. It follows the life of Nia, a queer, bi/pansexual naturopath in London, as her life unfolds across three pivotal moments, spanning from her 28th year to a life-altering realisation at the age of 50. At the heart of this gripping narrative lies Nia’s profound encounter with grief. A decade after the devastating loss of her sister, who tragically succumbed to suicide while battling with cyclothymia — a similar mental illness that her mother battles with — Nia’s world is forever transformed. As she grapples with the pain of her sister’s passing, Nia embarks on a poignant self-exploration, revealing grief as the ultimate manifestation of love, forever shaping our very being. 

The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years by Shubnum Khan (Penguin)

Expected Release Date: January 2024 

The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years by Shubnum Khan | Afrocritik
Goodreads

 

This historical Gothic novel by the South African author tells the story of a haunting. Part of the description reads: “Akbar Manzil was once a grand estate off the coast of South Africa. Nearly a century later, it stands in ruins: an isolated boarding house for eclectic misfits, seeking solely to disappear into the mansion’s dark corridors. Except for Sana. Unlike the others, she is curious and questioning and finds herself irresistibly drawn to the history of the mansion: To the eerie and forgotten East Wing, home to a clutter of broken and abandoned objects—and to the door at its end, locked for decades.” 

Loss is An Aftertaste of Memories by Michael Chiedoziem Chukwudera (Mmụta Books)

Expected Release Date: March 2024 

Chukwudera ‘s debut novel tells the story of a young man’s coming of age in the Nigerian city of Benin. Filled with the upheavals of adolescence and negotiating life in a conservative family, this is an exciting new addition to Nigerian literature. 

Flying Up the Mountain by Elizabeth-Irene Baitie (Cassava Republic)

Expected Release Date: July 2024  

Flying Up the Mountain: A Novel by Baitie, Elizabeth-Irene

Ato and his friends Dzifa and Leslie have been selected to visit Nnoma, the bird sanctuary that Ato’s father helped build before he died. Ato is convinced that his father hid something valuable on the island, meant only for him. When the trio arrives at Nnoma with other children from across West Africa, they are split into teams and given missions to help broaden their knowledge of nature. The winners will become Asafo — ambassadors of Nnoma and defenders of the Earth. But then the adults running Nnoma start behaving erratically and Ato suspects foul play. When the trio uncovers a sinister plot to exploit the sanctuary, Ato and his friends must work together to protect it — and his father’s legacy. 

Hassan and Hassana Share Everything by Elnathan John (Cassava Republic)

Expected Release Date: October 2024 

In this children’s book, Hassan and Hassana are twins, and they’re practically identical. Even though one is a boy and the other a girl, ever since they were babies people have had trouble telling them apart. For their 8th birthday, Hassan gets a bike and Hassana gets drums. Hassan’s friends tell him that girls can’t ride bikes, leaving him with an important decision to make. Will he decide to share or will he let Hassana feel left out? A beautiful story about sharing, kindness and standing up for what is right. 

NONFICTION 

An Imperfect Storm by Chikwe Ihekweazu with Vivian Ihekweazu (Masobe)

Expected Release Date: April 2024  

An Imperfect Storm - Chikwe Ihekweazu - Afrocritik
Masobe

An Imperfect Storm explores COVID-19 as a human struggle and seismic shift in world affairs, in grand scale and in small details. It is a book about the love of humanity, the power of family, of hope, resilience, and collaboration. It is Chikwe and Vivianne Ihekweazu’s personal account of the pandemic, also an important piece of history. 

An African History of Africa: From the Dawn of Civilisation to Independence by Zeinab Badawi (Penguin)

Expected Release Date: April 2024  

An African History of Africa - Afrocritik
Penguin Books

In this fascinating book, Badawi guides us through Africa’s spectacular history – from the very origins of our species, through ancient civilisations and mediaeval empires with remarkable queens and kings, to the miseries of conquest and the elation of independence. Visiting more than thirty African countries to interview countless historians, anthropologists, archaeologists and local storytellers, she unearths buried histories from across the continent and gives Africa its rightful place in our global story. 

Can Feminism Be African? by Minna Salami (William Collins)

This polemical book on feminism employs social commentary and social critique to illustrate how “patriarchy and culture stifle feminist spirit – and how we search through language, politics, and soul to reawaken it.” Salami’s stated objective is to reach a wider audience in the discourse of current issues affecting women today. 

Be a Revolution by Ijeoma Oluo (HarperCollins) 

Expected Release Date: January 2024 

Be a Revolution: How Everyday People Are Fighting Oppression and Changing the World—and How You Can, Too eBook : Oluo, Ijeoma: Kindle Store
Amazon

From the bestselling author of So You Want to Talk About Race, this explores how people across America are working to create real positive change in our structures. Looking at many of our most powerful systems — like education, media, labour, health, housing, policing, and more — she highlights what people are doing to create change for intersectional racial equity. She also illustrates various ways in which the reader can find entryways into change in these same areas, or can bring some of this important work being done elsewhere to where they live. 

Outriders Africa, edited by Bibi Bakare-Yusuf & Layla Mohamed  (Cassava Republic)

Expected Release Date: November 2024  

Buy Outriders Africa: Essays on Exploration and Return Book
Amazon

It is Spring 2020, and 10 writers of African heritage, travelling in pairs, set out on journeys across Africa. It is a strange time to be travelling, and the shifting state of the world is reflected in temperature checks at borders, hand sanitiser outside churches, and truncated journeys. Against this backdrop, their travels take them from the tourist beaches of Madagascar and Comoros to the Rastafarian town of Shashamane in Ethiopia, and from questions of renaming amongst the flora and fauna of Cape Town to learning to walk in circles and embrace sensuality in The Gambia. Through essays, travel diaries, letters and poetry, Outriders Africa is an evocative and enthralling exploration of forgotten family histories, reckoning with grief (both personal and historical), and what it truly means to return. 

The World Was in Our Hands by Chitra Nagarajan (Cassava Republic)

Expected Release Date: August 2024 

A moving, often provocative, and ultimately vital collection of firsthand accounts of people living through the Boko Haram conflict. From abducted girls to brash soldiers, and from community leaders to simple fishermen, this collection provides an insight into the realities of those living through the conflict, making this an essential cultural archive. The World Was in Our Hands covers themes of patriarchy, the economy, climate change, and corruption, to paint a picture that is much broader than what has been captured through news coverage. The book is expected in August 2024. 

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