5 Anticipated Books by African Authors, June 2024

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This month’s “Five for Five” as we call it internally, is packed, and are no easy picks from the many beautiful and engaging reads out there! Of the five featured authors, just one is remarkably outstanding, I mean in the sense that outstanding is standing out, The Lions’ Den

Iris Mwanza’s the Lions’ Den is a debut work. And it adds to many of her other spectacular achievements. She’s spent decades advocating gender equality and so her present perspective makes for an interesting read. There’s Chigozie Obioma with The Road to the Country. His previous works, The Fishermen (2015), and An Orchestra of Minorities (2019) were international bestsellers and award-winning works; so definitely his new work is one to grab. On June 18, Little Rot by Akwaeke Emezi goes into circulation. Just checked on Goodreads and over eleven thousand readers are queuing up for this thriller. Also, we have another bestseller, Children of Anguish and Anarchy by Tomi Adeyemi. This will be the final episode in the “Legacy of Orisha” bestseller series which began with Children of Blood and Bone (2018), Children of Virtue and Vengeance (2019). Five for five for June rounds up with a book you have to jump on, Mayowa and the Sea of Words by Chibundo Onuzo which tells the story of ten-year-old Mayowa and his discovery when he did the rather unusual thing of jumping on a book! 

So, which one of these books are you eager to lay your hands on?

The Road to the Country
by Chigozie Obioma (Penguin and Random House)
Expected Release Date: June 4, 2024

The first images of the vision are grainy—like something seen through wet glass. But slowly it clears, and there appears the figure of a man.

Set in Nigeria in the late 1960s, The Road to the Country is the epic story of a shy, bookish student haunted by long-held guilt who must go to war to free himself. When his younger brother disappears as the country explodes in civil war, Kunle must set out on an impossible rescue mission. 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, all while navigating the prophecies of a local Seer, he who marks Kunle as an abami eda—one who will die and return to life.

Little Rot
by Akwaeke Emezi (Riverhead Books)
Expected Release Date: June 18, 2024

One weekend.
The elite underbelly of a Nigerian city.
A party that goes awry.
A tangled web of sex and lies and corruption that leaves no one unscathed.

Aima and Kalu are a longtime couple who have just split. When Kalu, reeling from the breakup, visits an exclusive sex party hosted by his best friend, Ahmed, he makes a decision that will plunge them all into chaos, brutally and suddenly upending their lives. Ola and Souraya, two Nigerian sex workers visiting from Kuala Lumpur, collide into the scene just as everything goes to hell. Sucked into the city’s corrupt and glittering underworld, they’re all looking for a way out, fueled by a desperate need to escape the dangerous threat that looms over them.

Children of Anguish and Anarchy
(Legacy of Orisha, 3)
by Tomi Adeyemi (Barnes & Noble)
Expected Release Date: June 25, 2024

New allies rise.
The Blood Moon nears.
Zélie faces her final enemy.
The king who hunts her heart.

When Zélie seized the royal palace that fateful night, she thought her battles had come to an end. The monarchy had finally fallen. The maji had risen again. Zélie never expected to find herself locked in a cage and trapped on a foreign ship. Now warriors with iron skulls traffic her and her people across the seas, far from their homeland.

Then everything changes when Zélie meets King Baldyr, her true captor, the ruler of the Skulls, and the man who has ravaged entire civilizations to find her. Baldyr’s quest to harness Zélie’s strength sends Zélie, Amari, and Tzain searching for allies in unknown lands.

But as Baldyr closes in, catastrophe charges Orïsha’s shores. It will take everything Zélie has to face her final enemy and save her people before the Skulls annihilate them for good.

Mayowa and the Sea of Words
by Chibundu Onuzo (Bloomsbury)
Expected Release Date: June 20, 2024


Have you ever jumped on a book? Perhaps not. Most people would think it was a rather unusual thing to do.

Ten-year-old Mayowa has always thought that her Grandpa Edward, who dyes his beard emerald green and jumps on books in private, is rather unusual too. Until one day she jumps on a book for herself, and uncovers a huge family secret …

Mayowa can book jump.

By jumping on a book, she can harness the emotions inside it and channel them directly into other people. And when the opportunity to use her power to save the lives of countless refugees presents itself, Mayowa wants to jump in with both feet.

But Mayowa and her grandpa aren’t the only book jumpers in existence. And not everybody wants to use this power for good …

The Lion’s Den
by Iris Mwanza (Graydon House Books)
Expected Release Date: June 25, 2024

When young queer dancer Wilbess “Bessy” Mulenga is arrested by corrupt police, fresh-from-the-village rookie lawyer Grace Zulu takes up his cause in her first pro bono case. Presented with a freshly beaten client, Grace protests to the police and gets barred from accessing Bessy, who then disappears from the system—and the world—without a trace. As she fights for justice for Bessy, Grace must navigate a dangerous world of corrupt politicians, traditional beliefs, and deep-seated homophobia.

With the help of a former freedom fighter and the head of her law firm, who’s rallying for one last fight as AIDS takes its toll on him, Grace brings together a coalition of unions, students, and political opposition to take on the corrupt administration of President Kaunda. But will justice prevail in the face of such overwhelming odds?

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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