Jacqueline Woodson, the recipient of the 2014 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature for her lyrical tale Brown Girl Dreaming, will publish two new novels with Riverhead Books, Entertainment Weekly revealed Monday (October 30).
“I’m going to write a novel and then I’m going to write something that is true,” she told the publication of her next literary endeavors. “That’s pretty much all I can say because I’m deeply superstitious.”
When asked why her decision to make the deal with Riverhead for her next novels, Woodson expressed her respect and admiration for the publication and its history of publishing great writers and POC (persons or people of color), especially Black voices.
“[Riverhead Books] always published great writers. I love Harper/Amistad and am so glad I returned to the world of “adult” publishing via an imprint committed to the voices of Black writers,” she said. “Since my other books are already part of the Penguin Family, it felt right and good to continue my work with Riverhead. It’s exciting that so many of my books will be at one house.”
Since 1995’s Autobiography of a Family Photo, Woodson has only released one other adult fiction work, last year’s Another Brooklyn, a stark coming-of-age about the experiences of young black girlhood through the lens of adolescence. The novel earned Woodson yet another place in the running for a National Book Award in 2016 for the fiction category.
Soon, the beloved writer will make her return to the genre as she stated to the pub that she plans to revisit her adult audience and also bestow a novel to her dedicated young adult readership as well.
Careful not to divulge too many details due to her own apprehension, however, the 54-year-old author explained to EW why she opts to safeguard her future writing concepts: “I feel like once I say out loud, to the public, what I’m working on, it’s never going to be an actual book. So until it’s close to done, I keep pretty quiet about my next stuff!”
On the topic of which books have been keeping the writer’s mind buzzing in the meantime, the 2017 National Book Awards chair for fiction shared a few reads she’s been enjoying lately (all of which are releasing in 2018).
“I just finished chairing the National Book Awards in fiction so my brain was blown for a bit but now I’m back and reading Halsey Street by Naima Coster, Meg Wolitzer’s The Female Persuasion, and The Place Between Breaths, a young adult novel by Na An who is like my sister from another mother (and father).”
As of yet, no further details regarding the concept or content of her forthcoming books have been publicized, nor have any publication dates.