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 real 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.
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.
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