W&N to publish hotly anticipated new novel by award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson

Red at the BoneFederico Andornino, Editorial Director, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, has acquired UK & Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, from Matilda Forbes Watson at WME to RED AT THE BONE by Jacqueline Woodson.

Jacqueline Woodson is the author of more than two dozen award-winning books, including the 2016 New York Times-bestselling, National Book Award finalist for adult fiction, ANOTHER BROOKLYN. Gathering incredible energy and garnering astonishing praise ahead of the US publication, RED AT THE BONE is one of 2019’S most anticipated new releases in the US, where it’s being published by the PRH imprint Riverhead.

One of the New York Times new books to watch, RED AT THE BONE is the story of two families from different social classes who are joined together by an unexpected pregnancy and the child that it produces.

As the book opens in 2001, it is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody’s coming of age ceremony in her grandparents’ Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the music of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer, Melody’s mother, for her own ceremony – a celebration that ultimately never took place.

 

Unfurling the history of Melody’s parents and grandparents to show how they all arrived at this moment, Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs, the tolls they’ve paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history. As it explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, RED AT THE BONE most strikingly looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives – even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be.

Federico Andornino, Editorial Director, Weidenfeld & Nicolson said: ‘Jacqueline Woodson is a writer of astonishing talent and RED AT THE BONE is set to become an instant modern classic. Moving, powerful, never didactic and yet razor-sharp in its depiction of race and class in contemporary America, this novel will fill the Toni Morrison-shaped hole in readers’ hearts. Everyone at W&N is hugely proud, honoured and excited to welcome Jacqueline to our family.’

Jacqueline Woodson said: ‘RED AT THE BONE is a story that is very close to my heart. Although it’s not a true story, it has a lot of all of our truths in it – about what it means to be part of a family, part of the American and the African American experience and most of all what it means to be part of a continuum. I wrote it to better understand the past.  And I wrote it to remember.’

Among her many accolades, Woodson is a four-time National Book Award finalist, a four-time Newbery Honor winner, a two-time NAACP Image Award winner and a two-time Coretta Scott King Award winner. Her New York Times-bestselling memoir, BROWN GIRL DREAMING, received the National Book Award in 2014. Woodson is also the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature and recipient of the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award and the 2018 Children’s Literature Legacy Award. In 2015 she was named the Young People’s Poet Laureate by the Poetry Foundation.

RED AT THE BONE by Jacqueline Woodson will be published in hardback on 28th January 2020 in hardback £14.99 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. The ebook and audio will publish on 17 September 2019 to tie-in with US publication.