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As we wrap up 2019, there’s something for readers who enjoy works of Nigerian writers. From this list of forthcoming books- a short story collection and 4 novels and -are 5 Nigerian writers to look out for in 2020.

Iquo Dianaabasi

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Iquo Dianaabasi is a writer and performance poet. Her collection of poems, Symphony of Becoming, was shortlisted for the Nigerian Literature Prize, The Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature, and Association of Nigerian Authors Poetry Prize.

Come January 20, 2020, Parresia Publishers will release Dianaabasi’s first collection of stories, Efo Riro and Other Stories.

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Tochi Onyebuchi

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Also in January 2020, we expect a novel from the young adult speculative fiction writer, Tochi Onyebuchi. He’s the author of Beasts Made of Night, Crown of Thunder, and War Girls. His fiction has also appeared in Panverse Three, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and Omenana Magazine amongst others. In 2018, he won the Ilube Nommo Award for Best Speculative Fiction Novel by an African (for Beasts Made of Night).

Riot Baby is Onyebuchi’s first adult fiction debut. It is a dystopian narrative which portrays politics, racism, and brutality in America through the lives of preternaturally gifted siblings, Ella and Kev. It will be released by the publishers, Tom Doherty Associates.

Abi Dare

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A young Nigerian woman, Adunni, knows the pain of “a yielding daughter, a subservient wife, and a powerless slave” (Penguin Random House). But against all odds, her voice breaks through in Abi Dare’s The Girl with the Louding Voice.

The Girl with the Louding Voice is Dare’s debut. It won The Bath Novel Award for unpublished manuscripts in 2018 and will be published in March 2020 by Sceptre.

Akwaeke Emezi

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Akwaeke Emezi’s third book, The Death of Vivek Oji, is on its way. The author’s debut, Freshwater, is an autobiographical novel, a New York Times Notable Book for 2018, and has enjoyed reviews from the New Yorker, the Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, and the Guardian. Pet, the second book, is a young adult novel and national book award finalist. Emezi’s works confronts societal standards via exploring identity. The author also has a good collection of short stories and essays published on The Cut, Granta Online, and Commonwealth writers, among others.

The Death of Vivek Oji, set in a town in southeastern Nigeria, deals with family, youth, and loss in a manner that challenges cultural expectations. It is forthcoming in August 2020 from Riverhead Books.

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TJ Benson

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TJ Benson’s debut novel, The Madhouse, will be published by Masobe Books next year. In 2018, Benson’s collection of short stories We Won’t Fade into Darkness, was published by Parresia Books. He is also a photographer and has been a two-time fellow at the Ebedi Residency.

In The Madhouse, TJ Benson tells the story of unorthodox family: a prodigal daughter and her almost-priest husband, and their two sons, in an interesting abandoned house. The struggles of the characters promises to be as equally turbulent as Nigeria’s military regimes of the eighties through which it is set to the present.

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This article was first published on 2nd January 2020


Nnenna is an editor and writer at Connect Nigeria. She loves fine art, books and places.

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