A Nigerian born British university student Faridah Àbíké -Íyímídé has landed a million-dollar book deal in the US.
The seven-figure deal is for her first novel, a high-school thriller that takes on homophobia in the black community, diversity of thought among black people, institutionalised racism among others.
Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, a London resident currently attending college in Scotland was 19 and studying English, Chinese and anthropology in Aberdeen when she began writing what would become Ace of Spades.
Now 21, Faridah said after four weeks of writing about her experiences as a Black student at a predominantly white school, the first draft of what became “Ace of Spades” happened.
She explains after the book deal was signed, that it is intended for “Black kids who love mysteries and thrillers, Black kids who need hope.”
In her narration, Faridah explains she went to a really working-class school in south London – where they all had the same socio-economic background, most of them were Black or Asian. This made writing seem like some kind of fantasy, and she was trying to imagine what extreme wealth would look like.
“I am so grateful for this opportunity to share this story and have others see themselves for the first time in these characters,” Faridah said.
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The young adult thriller follows the story of two Black students Devon – a music lover, and head girl Chiamaka. In trying to find out the mysterious source spreading disturbing rumours about them at their highbrow overwhelmingly white private school, they get swamped in a deadly puzzle.
The book deal is with Feiwel and Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, who also acquired North American rights to two of her books. After Ace of Spades, the author also plans a second novel, currently untitled.
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