Five New Books by African Authors to Look Forward to in Q2 2024

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Are you craving new African novels to enrich your reading list for 2024? Whether you’re seeking fantasy, adventure, or dystopian tales, we’ve got you covered. Prepare to immerse yourself in captivating worlds crafted by young African authors, as we bring you a selection of novels that promise to ignite your imagination and stir your soul.

1. someone birthed them broken by Ama Asantewa Diaka

Release date: 2 April 2024 (HarperCollins)

If you are in the market for a jarring 13-part story that explores these themes through the interconnected lives of its characters, look no further than Diaka’s gripping tale.

Plot summary:

Men like Opoku Sr., not yet forty and struggling to keep his family’s cocoa business afloat after his father’s unexpected passing. Opoku strains 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.

Years later, that girlfriend’s son, Opoku Jr., now faces his troubles, including his girlfriend Boatemaa, who (correctly) suspects he is sneaking around, and Amoafoa, the woman he’s seeing on the side. And there is John, who confides to his crush Baaba about a surprising encounter with a male friend over a game of FIFA; Baaba, who falls into a whirlwind romance with her professor that ends in violence; and their friend Ayeley, who is learning to accept pleasure after being raised to believe it is sinful.

2. Lost Ark Dreaming by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

Release date: 21 May 2024 (Tordotcom)

Where there is divide, suspicion grows. That is true for science fiction novella from the brilliant mind of the Nigerian-born author. Okungbowa crafts a dystopian, post-climate disaster world in which survivors only occupy 5 partially submerged skyscrapers in what was once the great city of Lagos.

Plot summary:

Off the coast of West Africa, decades after the dangerous rise of the Atlantic Ocean, the region’s survivors live inside five partially submerged, kilometers-high towers originally created as a playground for the wealthy. Now the towers’ most affluent rule from their lofty perch at the top while the rest are crammed into the dark, fetid floors below sea level.

There are also those who were left for dead in the Atlantic, only to be reawakened by an ancient power, and who seek vengeance on those who offered them up to the waves.

Three lives within the towers are pulled to the fore of this Yekini, an earnest, mid-level rookie analyst; Tuoyo, an undersea mechanic mourning a tremendous loss; and Ngozi, an egotistical bureaucrat from the highest levels of governance. They will need to work together if there is to be any hope of a future that is worth living―for everyone.

3. Mayowa and the sea of words by Chibundu Onuzo

Release date: 6 June 2024 (Bloomsbury)

Book jumping (verb); harnessing the emotions in a book and channelling them directly into other people. An unusual thing to do. A myth. Until Mayowa sees Grandpa Edward prepare to join Mayowa in the first title of what promises to be an enthralling adventure trilogy.

Plot summary:


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 is a logosalter.

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 logosalters in existence. And not everybody wants to use this power for good.

4. Barda by Ngozi Ukazu

Release date: 04 June 2024 (Penguin Random House) 

Ngozi Ukazu breathes new life into the character of the superhero, Big Barda. Originally by Jack Kirby from Mister Miracle DC comics, Barda’s past is thrust into the spotlight once again. 

Plot summary

The novel is set during her years in Apokolips serving under Darkseid and Granny Goodness when Big Barda finds herself curious about the idea of love. Granny Goodness assigns her the duty of breaking the New God Scott Free to make her tough but it ends up having the opposite effect. Barda begins to question her present life of indoctrination and uses her strength to create a path.

5. Children of Anguish and Anarchy by Tomi Adeyemi 

Release date: 24 June 2024 ( Pan Macmillan)

The third and final instalment in the Legacy of Orïsha trilogy will surely have you on the edge of your seat waiting with bated breath for the bittersweet moment when the curtains close.

Plot summary:

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 traffick her and her people across the seas, far from their homeland.

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

We couldn’t possibly capture all of the incredible talent from our continent in just one list. Think of this selection as a small taste of the incredible stories and voices waiting for you. Get ready for an exciting literary season filled with the promise of African brilliance.

Happy reading!

Bongiwe T. Maphosa

Bongiwe T. Maphosa

Bongiwe Maphosa is a budding author with a passion for storytelling. With her thought-provoking narratives, she takes her readers on a literary adventure. Bongiwe's works on the human condition from a fresh perspective have earned her recognition and publications in the Avbob Poetry Anthology of 2019, The Writer's Club of South Africa 2021, and JAY Lit in 2021. She hopes to cement her place in the literary community.