As we usher in the new year, bibliophiles like us have started creating their 2024 reading list. Here at Marie Claire Nigeria, our favourite books are the ones written by women. 2023 was a great year for Nigerian women in literature, but 2024 promises to be even better. So, don’t go searching; we have created a list of books written by Nigerian women, coming out in 2024.
These books dive into the intricacies of womanhood while celebrating it. In these books, you will find exciting female leads and friendships that give you the best goosebumps. From Aiwanose Odafen’s pen to Onyi Nwabineli’s ink, 2024 Nigerian literature promises to be the year of the woman.
We Were Girls Once by Aiwanose Odafen
Aiwanose Odafen returns to the literary scene with her second novel, “We Were Girls Once.” This book is centred on three women who became friends during post-colonial Nigeria. Fast forward to post-independence Nigeria; the country is plagued by political turmoil, and the friendship between these women is strained as they now live far from one another.
However, their past connects them, and they become entwined once again. They try to fix their friendship while battling with their country’s political climate, which affects their lives and how they interact with each other.
Will their friendship be able to withstand even the worst democracy? You are itching to know, right? Well, you will just have to wait till April 25, 2024, to find out!
Pride and Joy by Louisa Onome
In this book, Onome takes on a chaotic journey into the lives of the Okafors, a three-generation Nigerian-Canadian family. Joy Okafor, a divorcee and a tired Nigerian first daughter, singlehandedly plans the seventieth birthday party of her mother, Mama Mary.
As the rest of the Okafors begin to arrive, Mama Mary goes in to take a nap. Later, when the grandkids go to wake her, she is found dead. Auntie Nancy, Mama Mary’s sister, who is in disbelief, declares that Mama Mary will resurrect. The Okafors spread this rumour, leaving Joy to plan the funeral.
Joy has no time to mourn or even process the event. How does one go from planning a birthday to a funeral? All you need to know is found in this humorous book filled with flawed but relatable characters. Pride and Joy comes out on March 12, 2024.
Allow Me to Introduce Myself by Onyi Nwabineli
Nwabineli’s sophomore book follows the life of Anuri, who has always been in the spotlight, courtesy of her influencer stepmother, Ophelia. Anuri’s every meal and outing are curated to fit the social media aesthetic. Her life is like one of those influencer’s lives we have coveted once or twice.
But when she hits twenty-five, her fans wonder why Anuri’s life is a mess. She is either found insulting men for money online or struggling with alcoholism.
Anuri’s wake-up call is seeing her stepmother trying to push her younger sister down that same rabbit hole she was in. Anuri begins to put up a fight, but Ophelia is not going down easily. The story is similar to Cinderella but retold in our social media age.
After reading, you will be forced to rethink your “harmless” relationship with social media. You can get your hands on this book on May 23, 2024.
And So I Roar by Abi Dare
Fans of “The Girl with the Louding Voice” assemble! Abi Dare has blessed us with a sequel to her debut novel.
After Tia eavesdrops on a hushed conversation between her sick mother and aunt, she goes on a quest to discover her mother’s secret, which has been buried for almost two decades. When she arrives in Lagos, Adunni, a girl who ran from the village searching for a better life, finds refuge in Tia’s home.
As they both settle into their new lives, they are disrupted by a knock on the gate, leaving Tia with a huge decision to uncover her mother’s secret or protect Adunni.
This time, Adunni’s “louding voice” has to be the loudest as she must speak for herself and the women of her village, Ikati. The bright futures of the girls in Ikati lie on her shoulders. Will Tia succeed? Find out on August 6, 2024.
Only Big Bum Bum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku
Following the success of her short story collection “Nearly All the Men in Lagos are Mad,” Damilare comes back with her debut novel that takes us into the world of Brazilian butt lifts. The book is centred on 20-year-old Temi, who just graduated from Obafemi Awolowo University.
Temi has only one plan in mind: to move to Lagos and enlarge her buttocks so she can meet a man who would love her. When she breaks the news to her very “Nigerian” family, it causes an uproar.
As the women in her family try to convince her not to do it, forgotten secrets begin to come to light, including her sister’s sudden disappearance. Damilare uses humour to chronicle how a woman’s physical appearance can dictate her life. She also explores beauty standards. This is one novel you must read. It will be on the shelves on July 30, 2023.
Water Baby by Chioma Okereke
This enchanting coming-of-age story is set in the floating slums of Makoko, Lagos. “Baby”, who grew up in Makoko, dreams of a life different from what her father has planned for her.
So, when the chance to work on a newly launched drone mapping project comes her way, she hops on it. The project aims to spotlight her community. Then a video of her working goes viral and Baby is flooded with opportunities she could only imagine, including the possibility of representing Makoko on the world stage.
Will the life outside Makoko that Baby has always dreamed of be worth it? You get to see which life suits Baby on April 11, 2024.
Ghostroots by Pemi Aguda
Pemi Aguda’s ‘Ghostroots’ is a collection of short stories set in Lagos, where the supernatural is a part of everyday life.
From a woman whose daughter’s face carries the ghost of her abusive mother to the architect who measures a house, only to discover that her blueprints make no sense, to the mysterious virus that wipes out a set of boys on the street. These stories are filled with people haunted by guilt and grief. The vibrating Pentecostals and the staunch atheists. The exasperated single fathers and the closed-knit extended families. Party girls and gossip.
Pemi pens down various people from different walks of life as she examines psychology and superstition. This book contains stories of betrayal, terror, trauma, love, gender, tradition, myth, sexuality, and modernity within Nigerian society. This is a spicy novel laced with humour. It will be available on May 10, 2023.
Where Sleeping Girls Lie by Faridah Abike Iyimide
The New York Times bestselling author’s second novel revolves around a boarding school. Sade Hussein has been homeschooled her entire life.
She is sent to Alfred Nobel Academy, a boarding school, during her third year in high school. It is important to note that misfortune follows Sade everywhere she goes, and the boarding school is no exception. On her first night at the school, Sade’s roommate suddenly disappears, and she becomes a prime suspect.
Sade then goes on a quest to find her missing roommate, but as she goes further on her journey, she discovers dark things that tell her there is more to the Alfred Nobel Academy. If you love mysteries and thrillers, this one is for you. The expected release date is March 14, 2024.
Parasol Against the Axe by Helen Opeyemi
Helen takes us to Prague in her new scintillating novel. Hero Tojosoa, the novel’s protagonist, finds herself in Prague for a bachelorette weekend hosted by an estranged friend named Sofie. Unknown to Hero, Prague is infamous for playing tricks on visitors. The book Hero purchases seems to be changing text depending on who is reading it and when it is being read. The book reveals stories of present and past Praguers. This confuses Hero, leaving her wondering.
Meanwhile, tension rises at the bachelorette when an old friend of Sofie comes in. The three women clash as they hold different perspectives on their pasts. Parasol Against the Axe explores the line between delusion and illusion, facts and interpretation.
Helen’s novel will have you questioning the extent to which a person should attach themselves to the stories of a place, a person, or even a shared history. The book will be in stores on March 5, 2024.
Children of Anguish and Anarchy (Legacy of Orisha) by Tomi Adeyemi
The last instalment of Adeyemi’s Legacy of Orisha arrives on June 25, 2024. We pick up from where we stopped—Zelie’s victory over the Majis (or so we thought).
We all assumed the battle was over after Zelie defeated the monarchy. Unfortunately, the Maji rose again. They capture Zelie and take her away to Skulls. A place far from her homeland. The ruler of Skulls, her captor, has destroyed communities to find her. He is also her final enemy. After withering through the many storms to achieve the short-lived freedom of her people, will Zelie be able to put up one last fight for the long-lasting freedom of her people?
These books can be found on the shelves of Roving Heights, Ouida, and Masobe when they become available. If you are into Kindle, you can find the books there or even order from Amazon. And if you need more inspiration, you can always check out our previous book reviews.