5 Anticipated Books by African Authors, March 2024


Three months into the year and many of the anticipated titles from African authors are pouring in. So this week, we are publishing five books by African authors that are forthcoming this month. Of course, the list is not exhaustive, as there are many more exciting titles out there. But then, these are just five of five.

One book on this list I cannot wait to get my hands on is Tares Oburumu origins of the syma species. Oburumu’s work, while unique and deeply personal, mirrors much of the conversation I’ve heard at Poetry workshops about writing the personal: should poets be afraid to tell it all? So be sure to grab a copy here. Other titles in our five of five include, Where Sleeping Girls Lie by Faridah Abike-Iyimide, Grow Where They Fall by Michael Donkor, a sterling story about ten-year-old Kwame Akromah and rules and limits; Loss is An Aftertaste of Memories by Michael Chiedoziem Chukwudera, and Pride and Joy by Louisa Onome.

Let’s know what you think in the comments section.

Grow Where They Fall
Michael Donkor

(Fig Tree Penguin)
Release Date: March 7, 2024

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.

Twenty years later, Kwame is a secondary-school teacher, popular with his students and depended on by his friends. His is a life spent elegantly weaving between the classroom, the labyrinth of Grindr politics and increasingly intermittent visits to his parents’ home. Behind the confident façade, however, he is as driven by caution as he was as a boy.

But when electrifying changemaker Marcus Felix is appointed as headteacher, Kwame must reckon with himself as he never has before. Can he face the ghosts of his childhood? How will he learn to move through the world without losing who he is? And where does existing stop and living begin?

Where Sleeping Girls Lie
Faridah Abike-Iyimide

(Feiwel & Friends)
Release Date: March 14, 2024

Sade Hussein is starting her third year of high school, this time at the prestigious Alfred Nobel Academy boarding school after being home-schooled all her life. Misfortune has been a constant companion all her life, but even Sade doesn’t expect her new roommate, Elizabeth, to disappear after Sade’s first night. Or for people to think she had something to do with it.

With rumors swirling around her, Sade catches the attention of the girls collectively known as the ‘Unholy Trinity’ and they bring her into their fold. Between learning more about them—especially Persephone, who Sade is inexplicably drawn to—and playing catchup in class, Sade already has so much on her plate. But when it seems people don’t care enough about what happened to Elizabeth to really investigate, it’s up to she and Elizabeth’s best friend to solve it.

Loss is An Aftertaste of Memories
Michael Chiedoziem Chukwudera

(Mmụta Books)
Release Date: March 26, 2024

Loss is an Aftertaste of Memories follows the reflection on its protagonists, Nosike, as he reflects on the yers of his life which led from childhood up to adolescent.

Coming from a conservative family and having parents who seem to be on the opposite spectrums of his personality but none quite on the same page as him. Nosike remembers the turbulence which surrounded his years of puberty; his dreams, to play football which he couldn’t talk about often – his up and down relationship with school, falling in love, and the heartbreaks that shaped his outlook on life, friendship and the light that comes from grieving.

Pride and Joy
Louisa Onome

(HarperCollins Canada)
Release Date: March 12, 2024

Joy Okafor is overwhelmed. Recently divorced, a life coach whose phone won’t stop ringing, and ever the dutiful Nigerian daughter, Joy has planned every aspect of her mother’s seventieth birthday weekend on her own.

As the Okafors slowly begin to arrive, Mama Mary goes to take a nap. But when the grandkids go to wake her, they find that she isn’t sleeping after all. Refusing to believe that her sister is gone-gone, Auntie Nancy declares that she has had a premonition that Mama Mary will rise again like Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday.

Desperate to believe that they’re about to witness a miracle, the family overhauls their birthday plans to welcome the Nigerian Canadian community, effectively spreading the word that Mama Mary is coming back. But skeptical Joy is struggling with the loss of her mother and not allowing herself to mourn just yet while going through the motions of planning a funeral that her aunt refuses to allow.

Origins of the Syma Species
Tares Oburumu

(University of Nebraska Press)
Release Date: March 2024

Winner of the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets, Tares Oburumu’s collection is a brief history of where he came from: Syma, a neglected oil-producing region of Nigeria. After growing up with a single mother in the creek- and brook-marked region, and himself now a single parent, Oburumu examines single parenthood and how love defines family circles. Mixing music, religion, and political critique, Origins of the Syma Species evokes pasts and futures.

Inspired by the relative chaos found in the origin of things, Oburumu’s poems explore how the beauty of chaos binds us to our ancestral roots. In his poems Oburumu identifies with anyone who is a single parent or is dealing with the lonely trauma of a broken home. His poems instill hopefulness in a world that has the means to throw many into poverty and agony.

Be sure to look out for our interview with Tares Oburumu where he shares a lot about his new book.

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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