Hey everyone. I’m back today with a list of books by Authors of Nigerian Descent coming out in 2019 and I’m so excited cause there are so many good books in this list and my bank account is not ready.
In this list you will notice a D besides some book titles, that shows it’s a debut book of the author. I felt this was necessary cause its good to support debut authors so they keep writing good books. So let’s dig in!
An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma
Publication Date: January 8th 2019 by Little Brown and Company.
Adult | Contemporary
Umuahia, Nigeria. Chinonso, a young poultry farmer, sees a woman attempting to jump to her death from a highway bridge. Horrified by her recklessness, Chinonso joins her on the roadside and hurls two of his most prized chickens into the water below to demonstrate the severity of the fall. The woman, Ndali, is moved by his sacrifice.
Bonded by this strange night on the bridge, Chinonso and Ndali fall in love. But Ndali is from a wealthy family, and when they officially object to the union because he is uneducated, Chinonso sells most of his possessions to attend a small college in Cyprus. Once in Cyprus, he discovers that all is not what it seems. Furious at a world which continues to relegate him to the sidelines, Chinonso gets further and further away from his dream, from Ndali and the place he called home.
In this contemporary twist of Homer’s Odyssey, in the mythic style of the Igbo literary tradition, Chigozie Obioma weaves a heart-wrenching epic about the tension between destiny and determination.
The Freedom Artist by Ben Okri
Publication Date: February 7th by House of Zeus
Adult | Contemporary
In a world uncomfortably like our own, a young woman called Alamantis is arrested for asking a question. Her question is this: Who is the Prisoner? When Alamantis disappears, her lover Karnak goes looking for her. He searches desperately at first, then with a growing realization. To find Amalantis, he must first understand the meaning of her question.
Karnak’s search leads him into a terrifying world of lies, oppression and fear at the heart of which lies the Prison. Then Karnak discovers that he is not the only one looking for the truth.
The Freedom Artist is an impassioned plea for justice and a penetrating examination of how freedom is threatened in a post-truth society. In Ben Okri’s most significant novel since the Booker Prize-winning The Famished Road, he delivers a powerful and haunting call to arms.
Becoming Nigerian by Elnathan John
Published Date: 6th January by Cassava Republic
In Be(com)ing Nigerian: A Guide, Elnathan John provides an affecting, unrestrained and satirical guide to the Nigerians you will meet at home and abroad, or on your way to hell and to heaven. A religious tells you it is a searing look at how power is abused, negotiated and performed in private and public; in politics, business, religious institutions and in homes. From the exploration of religious hypocrisy to inequality in matters of the heart, the collection is a jab at Nigerian society and what it means to be a Nigerian. Beyond poking fun at the holders of power, it is also a summons, a provocation and a call for introspection among all levels of society. As is often said in Nigeria, when you point with one finger, there are four others pointing back at you.
This engrossing read is a must-have for seasoned Nigerian-watchers and a uniquely informative guide for newcomers to Nigeria, with its tongue-in-cheek look at Nigeria’s relationship to itself and the world, both culturally and politically.
Imposter Alert by Uduak Akpabio Umoren D
Publication Date: January 2019
Two women meet on a bus heading for Lagos – one to continue her poor-paying job as a prostitute, and the other to visit a long-distance boyfriend. Both women discover that they share an uncanny resemblance and become fast friends. But before the end of that day, there will be a fatal crash. One woman will die and the other – following a case of mistaken identity – will impersonate her.
Gently navigating the chasm between the lives of the oblivious rich and desperate poor, Impostor Alert! is a finely wrought tale about grief, forgiveness and redemption.
The Beautiful Side Of The Moon by Leye Adenle
What would happen if God forgot who he was?
Drawing on age-old African story-telling traditions, modern science-fiction and contemporary thriller writing, award-winning Nigerian author Leye Adenle (Easy Motion Tourist, When Trouble Sleeps) conjures up an entirely new way of seeing the world.
The central character, Osaterin, thinks he is just a modest IT guy living in Lagos – but it turns out he is much, much more than that…
A delightful, playful, thoughtful adventure in speculative fiction by one of Nigeria’s most exciting new writers.
The Rosewater Insurrection (Sequel to Rosewater) by Tade Thompson
Adult | Science fiction
Publication Date: April 2nd by Counterpoint LLC
Growing up in middle-class Lagos, Nigeria during the late 1980s and early 1990s, Ihechi forms a band of close friends discovering Lagos together as teenagers with differing opinions of everything from film to football, Fela Kuti to spirituality, sex to politics. They remain close-knit until tragedy unfolds during an anti-government riot.
Exiled from Lagos by his concerned mother, Ihechi moves in with his uncle’s family, where he struggles to find himself outside his former circle of friends. Ihechi eventually finds success by leveraging his connection with a notorious prostitution linchpin and political heavyweight, earning favour among the ruling elite.
But just as Ihechi is about to make his final ascent into the elite political class, he reunites with his childhood friends and experiences a crisis of conscience that forces him to question his world, his motives, and whom he should become. Nnamdi Ehirim’s debut novel, Prince of Monkeys, is a lyrical, meditative observation of Nigerian life, religion, and politics at the end of the twentieth century.
This Is How We Disappear by Titilope Sonuga
Publication Date: April 26th by Write Bloody North
This Is How We Disappear is at once an exploration of the physical and emotional disappearance of women and a celebration of the magic of shapeshifting as an act of survival too.
The poems sit in conversation with each other in a way that highlights how women survive and thrive in spite of the obstacles often stacked against them.
The collection is about our small and large acts of resistance, how we choose life, how we are the architects of our own joy even in the face of death.
Buy on Amazon
Broken Places & Outer Spaces: Finding Creativity in the Unexpected by Nnedi Okorafor
Publication Date: June 18th by TED Books
Non-fiction | Adult
Nnedi Okorafor was never supposed to be paralyzed. A college track star and budding entomologist, Nnedi’s lifelong battle with scoliosis was just a bump in her plan—something a simple operation would easily correct. But when Nnedi wakes from the surgery to find she can’t move her legs, her entire sense of self begins to waver. Confined to a hospital bed for months, unusual things begin to happen. Psychedelic bugs crawl her hospital walls; strange dreams visit her nightly. Nnedi begins to put these experiences into writing, conjuring up strange, fantastical stories. What Nnedi discovers during her confinement would prove to be the key to her life as a successful science fiction author: In science fiction, when something breaks, something greater often emerges from the cracks.
In Broken Places & Outer Spaces, Nnedi takes the reader on a journey from her hospital bed deep into her memories, from her painful first experiences with racism as a child in Chicago to her powerful visits to her parents’ hometown in Nigeria. From Frida Kahlo to Mary Shelly, she examines great artists and writers who have pushed through their limitations, using hardship to fuel their work. Through these compelling stories and her own, Nnedi reveals a universal truth: What we perceive as limitations have the potential to become our greatest strengths—far greater than when we were unbroken.
A Small Silence by Jumoke Verissimo D
Publication Date: 2nd July
Imprisoned for ten years for his rage against society, activist and retired academic Prof resolves to live a life of darkness after his release from prison. He holes up in his apartment, pushing away friends and family, and embraces his status as an urban legend in the neighbourhood until a knock at the door shakes his new existence.
His new visitor is Desire, an orphan and final year student, who has grown up idolising Prof, following a fateful encounter in her hometown of Maroko as a child. Tentatively, the two begin to form a bond, as she returns every night at 9pm to see him. However, the darkness of the room becomes a steady torment, that threatens to drive Desire away for good.
A Small Silence is an intimate and evocative debut charges us to look again at the alienating effects of trauma and the power of solitude and darkness to ignite the imagination.
David Mogo: Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa D
Publication Date: July 9th by Abaddon Books
Adult | Fantasy
Nigerian God-Punk – a powerful and atmospheric urban fantasy set in Lagos.
Since the Orisha War that rained thousands of deities down on the streets of Lagos, David Mogo, demigod, scours Eko’s dank underbelly for a living wage as a freelance Godhunter. Despite pulling his biggest feat yet by capturing a high god for a renowned Eko wizard, David knows his job’s bad luck. He’s proved right when the wizard conjures a legion of Taboos—feral godling-child hybrids—to seize Lagos for himself.
To fix his mistake and keep Lagos standing, David teams up with his foster wizard, the high god’s twin sister and a speech-impaired Muslim teenage girl to defeat the wizard.
I’m Telling the Truth, But I’m Lying by Bassey Ikpi D
Publication Date: August 20th by HarperPerennial
Nonfiction | Adult
In I’m Telling the Truth, but I’m Lying Bassey Bassey Ikpi explores her life—as a Nigerian-American immigrant, a black woman, a slam poet, a mother, a daughter, an artist—through the lens of her mental health and diagnosis of bipolar II and anxiety. Her remarkable memoir in essays implodes our preconceptions of the mind and normalcy as Bassey bares her own truths and lies for us all to behold with radical honesty and brutal intimacy.
From her early childhood in Nigeria through her adolescence in Oklahoma, Bassey Ikpi lived with a tumult of emotions, cycling between extreme euphoria and deep depression—sometimes within the course of a single day. By the time she was in her early twenties, Bassey was a spoken word artist and traveling with HBO’s Def Poetry Jam, channeling her life into art. But beneath the façade of the confident performer, Bassey’s mental health was in a precipitous decline, culminating in a breakdown that resulted in hospitalization and a diagnosis of Bipolar II.
In I’m Telling the Truth, But I’m Lying, Bassey Ikpi breaks open our understanding of mental health by giving us intimate access to her own. Exploring shame, confusion, medication, and family in the process, Bassey looks at how mental health impacts every aspect of our lives—how we appear to others, and more importantly to ourselves—and challenges our preconception about what it means to be “normal.” Viscerally raw and honest, the result is an exploration of the stories we tell ourselves to make sense of who we are—and the ways, as honest as we try to be, each of these stories can also be a lie.
Daughter of Nri by Reni K. Amayo D
Publication Date: August 27th by Onwe Press
Fantasy | Young Adult
A gruesome war results in the old gods’ departure from earth. The only remnants of their existence lie in two girls. Twins, separated at birth. Goddesses who grow up believing that they are human. Daughters Of Nri explores their epic journey of self-discovery as they embark on a path back to one another.
Strong-willed Naala grows up seeking adventure in her quiet and small village. While the more reserved Sinai resides in the cold and political palace of Nri. Though miles apart, both girls share an indestructible bond: they share the same blood, the same face, and possess the same unspoken magic, thought to have vanished with the lost gods.
The twin girls were separated at birth, a price paid to ensure their survival from Eze Ochichiri, the man who rules the Kingdom of Nri. Both girls are tested in ways that awaken a mystical, formidable power deep within themselves. Eventually, their paths both lead back to the mighty Eze.
But can they defeat the man who brought the gods themselves to their knees?
PET by Akwaeke Emezi
Published Date: Sept 10 by Make me a World
Young Adult | Fantasy
Pet is here to hunt a monster. Are you brave enough to look?
There are no monsters anymore, or so the children in the city of Lucille are taught. Jam and her best friend, Redemption, have grown up with this lesson all their life. But when Jam meets Pet, a creature made of horns and colors and claws, who emerges from one of her mother’s paintings and a drop of Jam’s blood, she must reconsider what she’s been told. Pet has come to hunt a monster, and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption’s house. Jam must fight not only to protect her best friend, but also to uncover the truth, and the answer to the question–How do you save the world from monsters if no one will admit they exist?
In their riveting and timely young adult debut, acclaimed novelist Akwaeke Emezi asks difficult questions about what choices you can make when the society around you is in denial.
War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi
Publication date: 15th October by Razorbill
Science Fiction | Young Adult
Two sisters are torn apart by war and must fight their way back to each other in a futuristic, Black Panther–inspired Nigeria.
The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky.
In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation, as the years-long civil war wages on, survival becomes the only way of life.
Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together.
And they’re willing to fight an entire war to get there.
Acclaimed author Tochi Onyebuchi has written an immersive, action-packed, deeply personal novel perfect for fans of Nnedi Okorafor, Marie Lu, and Paolo Bacigalupi.
On Ajayi Crowther Street by Elnatham John and Alaba Onajin
Publication date: 19th November by Cassava Republic
Contemporary | Graphic novel
On the noisy Ajayi Crowther Street in Lagos, neighbours gather to gossip, discuss noise complaints, and faithfully head to church each Sunday. But beneath the surface lies a hidden world of clandestine love affairs, hidden pregnancy, spiritual quackery and hypocrisy, that threatens to destroy the community from within.
On Ajayi Crowther Street peels back the curtains on the lives of Reverend Akpoborie and his family, to reveal a tumultuous world full of secrets and lies. His only son, Godstime, is struggling to hide his sexuality from his parents whilst his daughter Keturah must hide the truth of her pregnancy by her pastor boyfriend to preserve her and her family’s image. But it is the Reverend himself who hides the darkest secret of them all, as his wondering eye lands on Kyauta, their young live-in maid.
Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
Publication Date: December 3rd by Henry Holt and Co.
Young Adult | Fantasy
Children of Virtue and Vengeance is the breathtaking second title in Tomi Adeyemi’s YA fantasy trilogy, Legacy of Orïsha, following her ground-breaking, West African-inspired debut Children of Blood and Bone.
After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji but also some nobles with magic ancestry.
Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as strong and magical as they are. When Amari’s mother forms an army of royals with newly awakened powers, Zélie fights to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new Maji from the monarchy’s wrath.
But with civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: she must find a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.
Chat time! Have you read any of these books? Which of these books are you going to add to your readng list? Are you excited for any of these books?Let me know in the comments below
I am excited for all of them. It’s no surprise that I love reading books by Nigerian authors, being a Nigerian myself.
P.S: I will be updating this list frequently, so if you want to be notified and keep up with the updates, you can sign up for my mailing list. This also gives you access to a spreadsheet, which I will update frequently as well and monthly emails of books released each month.
Cover Images and book synopsis used in this post were gotten from Goodreads, Amazon and the publishers’ sites. Affiliate links are included in the post, all commissions earned go to supporting this blog. Thank you.