5 Anticipated Books by African Authors, July 2024

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There is always a reason for picking up a book, even if it is to watch the sun rise and set. There are plenty of reasons to pick up any one of the five books we have for #FiveforFive this month.

Masquerade by O. O. Sangoyomi is loosely based on the mythical story of Persephone. So, there is some grand epic story there. You will meet Òdòdó and of course, fight her fights with her. In Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow, Damilare Kuku peels the curtain on 20 years old Temi’s plan to enlarge her bumbum and her family’s reaction, including the drama that follows. It is a bold and humorous read. In the Shadows of the Fall (Guardians of the Gods, 1) by Tobi Ogundiran puts Ashâke at the centre of events at the temple where she’s an acolyte, and with ambitions. She did not piss off the orisha. Put simply, Ashâke, got her hands full in attempting to trap one, and what follows. Maybe you can relate with her struggles and possibly find your path too. This is a gripping read. And you’d love it. I like that Nana Elia Brew-Hammond is described as “an author with deep empathy and a generous heart….” And I think that is what you will find in her new book, My Parents’ Marriage (MPM). It is the story of one Ghanaian family; of Kokui held between what she knows of family and what she wants to make of her own. The last featured book this month is Between Friends and Lovers by Shirlene Obuobi (On Rotation, (2022). In her new book Obuobi mirrors all the shades of life in the age of social media: what you see, look closer, it’s not the whole story. And that’s Josephine’s Boateng: with the right words and m voices on social media; but what about real life!

Be sure to let us know if you’ve picked up any of these titles and what you think.

by O. O. Sangoyomi (Forge Books)
Expected release date: July 2, 2024

Set in a wonderfully reimagined 15th century West Africa, Masquerade is a dazzling, lyrical tale exploring the true cost of one woman’s fight for freedom and self-discovery, and the lengths she’ll go to secure her future.

Òdòdó’s hometown of Timbuktu has been conquered by the warrior king of Yorùbáland. Already shunned as social pariahs, living conditions for Òdòdó and the other women in her blacksmith guild grow even worse under Yorùbá rule.

Then Òdòdó is abducted. She is whisked across the Sahara to the capital city of Ṣàngótẹ̀, where she is shocked to discover that her kidnapper is none other than the vagrant who had visited her guild just days prior. But now that he is swathed in riches rather than rags, Òdòdó realizes he is not a vagrant at all; he is the warrior king, and he has chosen her to be his wife.

In a sudden change of fortune, Òdòdó soars to the very heights of society. But after a lifetime of subjugation, the power that saturates this world of battle and political savvy becomes too enticing to resist. As tensions with rival states grow, revealing elaborate schemes and enemies hidden in plain sight, Òdòdó must defy the cruel king she has been forced to wed by re-forging the shaky loyalties of the court in her favor, or risk losing everything—including her life.

Loosely based on the myth of Persephone, O.O. Sangoyomi’s Masquerade takes you on a journey of epic power struggles and political intrigue that turn an entire region on its head.

Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow
by Damilare Kuku (Lüfü)
Expected release date: July 30, 2024

In Nigerian families, none of your business is private. Not even if it’s about your bumbum.

Freshly out of Obafemi Awolowo University, 20-year-old Temi has a clear plan for her future: she is going to surgically enlarge her backside like all the other Nigerian women, move from Ile-Ife to Lagos, and meet a man who will love her senseless.

But when she finally finds the courage to tell her mother, older sister, and aunties, her announcement causes an uproar. As each of the other women try to cure Temi of what seems like temporary insanity, they begin to spill long-buried secrets, including the truth of Temi’s older sister’s mysterious disappearance five years earlier.

In the end, it seems like Temi might be the sanest of them all…

In Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow, Damilare Kuku brings her signature humor, boldness, and compassion to each member of this loveable but exasperating family, whose lives reveal the ways in which a woman’s physical appearance can dictate her life and relationships and show just how sharp the double-edged sword of beauty can be.

In the Shadow of the Fall (Guardians of the Gods, 1)
by Tobi Ogundiran (Barnes & Noble)
Expected release date: July 23, 2024

Ashâke is an acolyte in the temple of Ifa, yearning for the day she is made a priestess and sent out into the world to serve the orisha. But of all the acolytes, she is the only one the orisha refuse to speak to. For years she has watched from the sidelines as peer after peer passes her by and ascends to full priesthood.

Desperate, Ashâke attempts to summon and trap an orisha—any orisha. Instead, she experiences a vision so terrible it draws the attention of a powerful enemy sect and thrusts Ashâke into the center of a centuries-old war that will shatter the very foundations of her world.

My Parents’ Marriage
by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond (Barnes & Noble)
Expected release date: July 30, 2024

Acclaimed children’s author Nana Brew-Hammond makes her highly anticipated return with this soaring and profound story about love and understanding told through three generations of one Ghanian family.

Determined to avoid the pain and instability of her parents’ turbulent, confusing marriage, Kokui marries a man far different from her loving, philandering, self-made father—and tries to be a different kind of wife from her mother.

But when Kokui and her husband leave Ghana to make a new life for themselves in America, she finds history repeating itself. Her marriage failing, she is called home to Ghana when her father dies. Back in her childhood home, which feels both familiar and discomforting, she comes to realize that to exorcize the ghosts of her parents’ marriage she must confront them to enable her healing.

Tender and illuminating, warm and bittersweet My Parents’ Marriage is a compelling story of family, community, class, and self-identity from an author with deep empathy and a generous heart.

Between Friends & Lovers
by Shirlene Obuobi (HarperCollins)
Expected release date: July 30, 2024

Talia Hibbert meets Carley Fortune in this swoon-worthy story of love and friendship in the age of social media—where what you see might not be all you get.

To her countless Instagram followers Josephine Boateng is the dazzling Dr. Jojo—and her opinions on health, growth, and self-love matter. Her message: be smart (she has a medical degree after all), be significant, and do not put up with foolish men.

But behind the camera, Jo’s story is more complicated—she finds her influencer career underwhelming; her potential career in medicine overwhelming, and she’s hung up on her best friend, nepo-baby and romcom heartthrob Ezra Adelman. When Ezra shows up to his thirtieth birthday party with her childhood bully on his arm, however, Josephine realizes that it’s time to take her own advice and prioritize herself for once.

No one is more shocked than Malcolm Waters when his debut novel turns him into a critic’s darling. When he’s invited to a swanky penthouse party to discuss turning his book into a film, he knows rubbing elbows with the elites of entertainment will be great for his career. The only problem: he’s not good with people, and even worse at networking.

Just when he’s about to throw in the towel, he’s rescued by none other than Dr. Jojo. He’s been following her on social media for years, and she’s even more impressive in real life. And to his bewilderment, the feeling is mutual.

But in a world where the lines between private and public are as blurred as those between friendship and love, can they risk it all for something real?

Lake Adedamola is a poet, writer, and editor with Nantygreens, who's worked with several other literary blogs including Brittle Paper. He has, since 2018, served in various capacities on the Lagos International Poetry Festival, LIPFest, team.

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