Open Country Mag: The Anticipated Books of 2024
The Anticipated Books of 2024

The Anticipated Books of 2024

The most anticipated books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by African writers, selected by the staff of Open Country Mag.


origin of the syma species, Tares Oburumu

University of Nebraska Press

1 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. He examines single parenthood and how love defines family circles. Mixing music, religion, and political critique, it evokes pasts and futures. Read our profile of him. Preorder.

Monster, Dzifa Benson

Bloodaxe Books

24 October 2024

A bold, lyrical exploration of the Black female body, centered around the life of Sarah Baartman, the Hottentot Venus, who was exhibited in 19th-century Europe. It draws parallels with the author’s own journey as a Black woman raised in Ghana and returning to the UK. Preorder.

Migration Letters, M. Nzadi Keita

Beacon Press

2 April 2024

M. Nzadi Keita’s poetry collection explores Black history and identity in working-class Philadelphia from the 1960s to the present. Preorder.

Besaydoo, Yalie Saweda Kamara

Milkweed Editions

9 January 2024

Chosen for the 2023 Jake Adam York Prize by Amaud Jamaul Johnson, Besaydoo is a gracefully crafted ode celebrating the concept of home – encompassing place, people, body, and language. Kamara takes on the role of a griot. Buy.

A Brief Ship Story and Other Poems, Tares Oburumu

Mmụta Books

26 March 2024

This poetry collection explores the historical cycle of black people, particularly in Nigeria, addressing the enduring impact of forces that contributed to slavery and colonialism.


An African History of Africa: From the Dawn of Civilization to Independence, Zainab Badawi

Penguin Books

18 April 2024

Conducting interviews in over 30 African countries — with historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, and local storytellers — Badawi uncovers hidden narratives, providing a comprehensive view of Africa’s role in the global story. Preorder.

An Imperfect Storm, Chikwe Ihekweazu and Vivian Ihekweazu

Masobe Books

30 April 2024

This book explores the human impact of COVID-19. It emphasizes humanity, familial strength, hope, resilience, and collective efforts. Preorder.

Can Feminism be African?, Minna Salami

William Collins

13 February 2024

This provocative book utilizes social commentary and critique to highlight how the patriarchy and cultural norms suppress the feminist spirit. Preorder.

Be a Revolution, Ijeoma Oluo


30 January 2024

From the bestselling author of So You Want to Talk About Race, an examination of education, media, labor, health, housing, policing, and endeavors for intersectional racial equity. Preorder.

Revolutionary Acts: Love & Brotherhood in Black Gay Britain, Jason Okundaye

Faber & Faber

7 March 2024

The stories of seven older gay Black British men, spanning decades. It chronicles their struggles, political battles, and joyful celebrations, highlighting their resilience during the AIDS epidemic. Preorder.

Brutalism, Achille Mbembe

Duke University Press.

9 January 2024

Mbembe draws parallels between the architectural style and our current global situation: Afro-diasporic thought provides a unique perspective to counteract the totalizing influence of capitalism by fostering solidarity, repairing societal fractures, and nurturing a new planetary consciousness. Buy.

The Rebel’s Clinic: The Revolutionary Lives of Frantz Fanon, Adam Shatz

18 January 2024


A searing biography of the short and harrowing life of Frantz Fanon, and a brilliant exploration of his ideas. Preorder.

Where We Come From, Aniefok Ekpoudom

Faber and Faber

18 January, 2024

A social history of British rap and grime by one of the nation’s foremost cultural chroniclers. Preorder.


The Road to the Country, Chigozie Obioma

Random House

4 June 2024

A young man seeks redemption in a country on fire. Obioma’s novel is an odyssey of love and courage set during the Biafran War. Preorder.

Little Rot, Akwaeke Emezi

Penguin Publishing Group

18 June 2024

Aima and Kalu are a longtime couple who have just split. When Kalu visits an exclusive sex party hosted by his best friend, Ahmed, he makes a decision that will plunge them all into chaos. Ola and Souraya, two Nigerian sex workers visiting from Kuala Lumpur, collide into the scene. Sucked into the city’s corrupt and glittering underworld, they’re all looking for a way out. Preorder.

Pharmakon, Teju Cole:


2 February 2024

Bringing together a sequence of disquieting photographs with a dozen original short stories, this is another surprising new work from the singular mind of the Open Country Mag cover star. Preorder.

Children of Anguish and Anarchy, Tomi Adeyemi


25 June 2024

Following Zélie’s victory at the royal palace, she’s unexpectedly captured and taken far from her homeland on a ship by warriors, the Skulls. The true captor, King Baldyr, seeks to harness Zélie’s power, prompting her, Amari, and Tzain to seek allies in unfamiliar territories. Preorder

Dakini Atoll, Nikhil Singh

Luna Press

August 2024

A fast-paced, tech-driven, metaphysical Cyberpunk third novel from Singh, with gritty storytelling in a speculative setting that spans across Johannesburg, New York, London, and Saudi Arabia. Preorder.

Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow, Damilare Kuku

Harper Collins

18 July 2024

Damilare Kuku, who topped the inaugural The Rovingheights Best Seller List: Presented with Open Country Mag, 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. Preorder.

The Eternal Ones, Namina Forna

Random House

13 February 2024

In order to kill the gods, whose ravenous competition for power is bleeding Otera dry, Deka must uncover the source of her divinity. But with her mortal body on the verge of ruin, she is running out of time—to save herself and an empire that’s tearing itself apart at its seams. Preorder.

Blessings, Chukwuebuka Ibeh

Penguin Books

22 February 2024

Banished to a Christian boarding school and utterly alienated from the people he loves, Obiefuna begins a journey of self-discovery and blossoming desire, while his mother Uzoamaka grapples to hold onto her favorite son, her truest friend. An elegant and moving story of love and loneliness. Preorder.

My Parents’ Marriage, Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond


9 July 2024

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. Preorder.

Parasol Against the Axe, Helen Oyeyemi

Penguin Publishing Group

5 March 2024

An adventurous, kaleidoscopic novel that considers the lines between illusion and delusion, fact and interpretation, and weighs the risks of attaching too firmly to the stories of a place, or a person, or a shared history. How much is a tale influenced by its reader, or vice versa? Preorder.

Don’t Answer When They Call Your Name, Ukamaka Olisakwe

Griots Lounge

April 2024

In Ani Mmadu, a village facing a water crisis due to an ancient sin, the people must send a child of Aja chosen by the Oracle into the Forest of Iniquity for atonement. Adanne, the chosen one, faces the daunting task of breaking the cycle of Ajas never returning from the dreaded forest. Read our profile of her. Preorder.

Between Friends & Lovers, Shirlene Obuobi

Harper Collins

30 July 2024

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. Preorder.

The Incredible Dreams of Garba Dakaskus, Umar Abubakar Sidi

Masobe Books

29 August 2024

A metaphysical murder mystery where the murder and the murderer cannot be ascertained or said to exist. The narrator’s journey is delicately interwoven with innumerable characters and stories from across time and place, on an existential search for the meaning of life. Preorder.

We Were Girls Once, Aiwanose Odafen

Simon and Schuster

25 April 2024

In the bustling world of a successful London lawyer named Ego, her achievements can’t overshadow the loneliness and sense of being an outsider. Seeking a connection to Nigeria, she immerses herself in a secret online life. Zina, aspiring to escape her true self, finds solace in acting at the expense of family ties. Meanwhile, Eriife transforms from a practicing doctor to a politician’s ideal wife. As Ego returns home, the lives of these three women intertwine amid Nigeria’s political turmoil. Preorder.

Pride and Joy, Louisa Onomé

Simon & Schuster

12 March 2024

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 70th birthday when her mother dies suddenly. 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 not allowing herself to mourn just yet. Preorder.

And So I Roar, Abi Daré

Penguin Publishing Group

5 August 2024

When Tia accidentally overhears a conversation between her mother—terminally ill and lying in a hospital bed in Port Harcourt, Nigeria—and her aunt, the repercussions will send her on a desperate quest to uncover a secret her mother has been hiding for nearly two decades. Preorder.

Lost Ark Dreaming, Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Tor Publishing Group

21 May 2024

Decades after the perilous rise of the Atlantic Ocean, survivors off the West African coast inhabit partially submerged towers, originally designed as a playground for the wealthy. Social hierarchy prevails with the affluent at the towering zenith and others confined to dark, submerged depths. Amidst this, three lives emerge: Yekini, a mid-level analyst; Tuoyo, a grieving undersea mechanic; and Ngozi, a self-centered bureaucrat. To forge a livable future for all, they must unite. Preorder.

Where Sleeping Girls Lie, Faridah Abike-Iyimide

Feiwel & Friends

19 March 2024

A young adult mystery about Sade Hussein, a new girl at the prestigious Alfred Noble Academy, who discovers dark secrets when her roommate disappears without a trace. Preorder.

Ghostroots, Pemi Aguda

WW Norton

7 May 2024

A 12-story collection that opens with a chilling tale in Lagos, exploring the eerie legacy of a woman resembling her malevolent grandmother. Set against a spectral cityscape, everyday events like childbirth and market visits carry an air of supernatural menace. Stories like “Breastmilk” and “24, Alhaji Williams Street” unfold with preternatural twists, while “The Hollow” introduces an architect stumbling upon a vengeful house. Aguda blends the ordinary with the supernatural. Preorder.

Water Baby, Chioma Okereke


11 April 2024

In Makoko, the floating slum off mainland Lagos, 19-year-old Baby yearns for an existence where she can escape the future her father has planned for her. She joins a newly launched drone-mapping project. When a video of her at work goes viral and Baby finds herself with options she could never have imagined, will life beyond the lagoon be everything she’s dreamed of? Pre-order.

Broken: Not A Halal Love Story, Fatima Bala

Masobe Books

18 July 2024

Fa’iza Mohammed, raised to be an obedient daughter, experiences a life-altering shift when she goes to university in Canada. Ahmad Babangida, a rebellious first-born son of an ambassador, unexpectedly meets Fa’iza, triggering a powerful and indescribable connection. They strive to nurture their love within the confines of tradition. Preorder.

Like Water Like Sea, Olumide Popoola

Cassava Republic Press

28 May 2024

An immersive story of self-discovery, resilience, and the unifying power of love. It follows 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. Preorder.

Someone Like Us, Dinaw Mengestu

Hodder & Stoughton

30 July 2024

After abandoning his once-promising career as a journalist for a new life in Paris, Mamush meets Hannah — a photographer whose way of seeing the world shows him the possibility of finding not only love but family. Now, five years later, with his marriage to Hannah on the verge of collapse, he returns to the close-knit immigrant Ethiopian community of Washington, DC, that defined his childhood. At its center is Mamush’s stoic, implacable mother, and Samuel, the larger-than-life father figure whose ceaseless charm and humor have always served as a cover for a harder, more troubling truth. Preorder.

The Weavers of Alamaxa, Hadeer Elsbai

Harper Voyager

19 March 2024

Two incredible women are all that stands before an entire army. But they’ve fought against power before and won. This time, though, it’s no longer about rhetoric. This time it’s about magic and blood. Preorder.

These Letters End in Tears, Musih Tedji Xaviere


12 March 2024

Set in Cameroon, a country where being gay is punishable by law, this is a heart-wrenching love story between a Christian girl with a rebellious heart and a Muslim girl leading a double life. Preorder.

Loss Is an Aftertaste of Memories, Michael Chiedoziem Chukwudera

Mmụta Books

26 March 2024

A coming-of-age novel following a young man as he reflects on childhood and adolescence: his dreams to play football, falling in love, heartbreaks, and grieving.

The Truth of Aleke, Moses Ose Utomi


5 March 2024

17-year-old Osi is a Junior Peacekeeper in the City. When the mysterious leader of the Cult, known only as the Aleke, commits a massacre in the capitol and steals the sacred God’s Eyes, Osi steps forward to valiantly defend his home.

The Road to the Salt Sea, Samuel Kolawole

2 July 2024

Harper Collins

A story of family, fate, religion, survival, the failures of the Nigerian class system, and what often happens to those who seek their fortunes elsewhere. Preorder.

No Pink in a Rainbow, Angel Patricks Amegbe

Masobe Books

19 August 2024

A man in the Netherlands sends a message to a beautiful woman on Facebook. An unlikely connection grows between Jan, an engineer who lived alone in Geet, and Naomi, an only child who had been raised by her grandmother in Abuja — a unique love they believed could never be extinguished. Make enquiries here.

The Liquid Eye of A Moon, Uchenna Awoke

25 June 2024


15-year-old Dimkpa dreams of a better life when his father’s village headship is denied. Determined to shape his destiny, he embarks on a journey to Lagos, and learns that money isn’t easily earned and that superstitions run deep. Preorder.

Masquerade, O. O Sangoyomi

Forge Books

2 July 2024

Set in a reimagined 15th century West Africa, an exploration of the true cost of one woman’s fight for freedom and self-discovery. Preorder.

Crooked Seeds, Karen Jennings

Penguin Random House

16 April 2024

In spare prose, Jennings weaves a singularly powerful novel about post-apartheid South Africa. It is an unforgettable, propulsive story of fractured families, collective guilt, the ways we become trapped in prisons of our own making, and how we can begin to break free. Preorder.

Someone Birthed Them Broken, Ama Asantewa Diaka

Harper Collins

2 April 2024

In this collection of short fiction, Diaka creates a portrait of young Ghanaians in friendship, passion, hope, and heartache. They include men like Opoku Sr., straining under the burden of caring for his eight younger siblings and the child whose mother ran off. When his new girlfriend tells him she’s pregnant, he knows he has nothing left to give. Preorder.

Born in a House of Glass, Chinenye Emezie

Dundurn Press

13 August 2024

Udonwa’s family is at war — a war of relationships, playing out under the tyranny of a monster dad. Her father, Reverend Leonard Ilechukwu, favors her but beats his wife and his other children. When her newly married eldest sister suddenly takes her from their family compound in Iruama to live with her in Awka, Udonwa experiences violence first-hand. Preorder.

Allow Me to Introduce Myself, Onyi Nwabineli

Graydon House

28 April 2024

Ever since she was a child, Anuri’s life was chronicled and monetized 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. Preorder.

Bright Red Fruit, Safia Elhillo

Penguin Random House

6 February 2024

Samira is determined to have a perfect summer filled with fun parties, exploring DC, and growing as a poet — until a scandalous rumor has her grounded and unable to leave her house. When Samira turns to a poetry forum for solace, she catches the eye of an older, charismatic poet named Horus. For the first time, Samira feels wanted. But soon she’s keeping a bigger secret than ever before. Preorder. ♦

Compiled by Iheoma Uzomba and Michael Chukwudera Chiedoziem.

If you love Open Country Mag‘s work, please consider making a PayPal donation to enable us to continue redefining perceptions of what an unfunded African media platform can do.

More Lists & Recommendations from Open Country Mag

— The 60 Notable Books of 2023

— Our Top Stories of 2023

— The Anticipated Books of 2023

— The 60 Notable Books of 2022

— The Rovingheights Bestseller List 2022: Presented with Open Country Mag

— The 60 Notable Books of 2021

— Your Guide to Booker Prize Winner Damon Galgut‘s 9 Books of Fiction

— 52 Books in 64 Years: Your Guide to Wole Soyinka‘s Body of Work

— 22 African Writers, Groundbreaking and Female, Born Before the Last 60 Years and Now Gone

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