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About The Book

‘Searing and beautifully rendered’
Koa Beck, author of White Feminism

This story of love, loss and resilient female friendship is a definite must read.’
Tola Rotimi Abraham, author of Black Sunday

'Unflinching and cuts to the core'
Chika Unigwe, author of On Black Sisters Street

‘An accomplished and emotional triumph’
Louise Beech, author of How To Be Brave

What can I do?’ she asked. You can fight, I thought, you can fight for your daughters. But then again, who was I to speak of such things

When Gozie and Obianuju meet in August 1978, it is nothing short of fate. He is the perfect man: charismatic, handsome, Christian, and – most importantly – Igbo. He reminds her of her beloved Uncle Ikenna, her mother’s brother who disappeared fighting in the Civil War that devastated Nigeria less than a decade before. It is why, when Gozie asks her to marry him within months of meeting, she says yes, despite her lingering and uncertain feelings for Akin – a man her mother would never accept, as his tribe fought on the other side of the war. Akin makes her feel heard, understood, intelligent; Gozie makes her heart flutter.

For Uju, the daughter her mother never wanted, marriage would mean the attainment of that long elusive state of womanhood, and something else she has desired all her life – her mother’s approval. All will be well; he is the perfect match, the country will soon be democratic again and the economy is growing, or so she thinks …

Loosely based on the stories of real women known to the author, Tomorrow I Become a Woman follows a complex relationship between mother and daughter as they grapple to come to terms with tremendous loss. This powerful debut by Aiwanose Odafen is a sensitive exploration of a woman’s struggle to meet societal and cultural expectations within the confines of a difficult marriage, a tribute to female friendship and a love story that spans two decades and continents against a backdrop of political turmoil and a fast-changing world.


About The Author

Aiwanose spent a better part of her life wanting to become an economist, an accountant, then an entrepreneur before she discovered her love for writing. She has contributed to published non-fiction works and participated in Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's Purple Hibiscus Trust Writing Workshop. She was longlisted for the 2020 Commonwealth Writers Short Story Prize and holds a postgraduate degree from the University of Oxford. When she's not writing, she's cheering for Manchester United or watching dramas. Her debut novel Tomorrow I Become a Woman will be published in 2022. 

Product Details

  • Publisher: Scribner UK (April 28, 2022)
  • Length: 416 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781398506114

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Raves and Reviews

'Tomorrow I Become a Woman is an accomplished and emotional triumph. With deft language and in-depth characters, the book explores female friendships, difficulties and loss. It pulses with life, and taught me a lot.'

– Louise Beech, author of How To Be Brave and The Mountain in My Shoe

'Never have I wanted to scream, wail and rip out pages of a book in solidarity with our female protagonist Uju. Never had I been so invested in a character... There was so much of this book that resonated with me despite the difference in generation and cultures... What makes this book so special and powerful is that this is based on real stories of real women known to the author. Uju and her friends may be fictional characters but their stories are real, and they are women that I know, women that I love, women that will stay with me forever. This isn’t an easy read, there are triggers of domestic violence but it must be read and shared.'

– Di Lebowitz, author of The Marks Left On Her

'Searing and beautifully rendered, Aiwanose Odafen’s writing acutely speaks to intimate experiences at the crux of race, gender, class, culture, and tradition.'


– Koa Beck, author of White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind

'Odafen writes with compelling craft of a world where certain expectations are put on women. Her exploration of the Nigeria her characters inhabit is unflinching and cuts to the core. It lets no one off the hook.  Tomorrow I Become a Woman is ultimately a celebration of the irrepressible strength of its protagonist. This is a necessary book.'

– Chika Unigwe, author of On Black Sisters Street

‘Aiwanose Odafen’s unforgettable debut stuns and enlightens. You will not forget Uju, Ada and Chinelo. Tomorrow I become A Woman overflows with compassion for its characters. This story of love, loss and resilient female friendship is a definite must read.’


– Tola Rotimi Abraham, author of Black Sunday

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