The Borough Press has pre-empted black girl, no magic, a “truly incredible” essay collection by journalist, editor and policy researcher Kimberly McIntosh.
Editor Ore Agbaje-Williams signed UK and Commonwealth rights, including Canada, from Kay Peddle at Kay Peddle Literary. The book will be published in hardback in summer 2022.
The book explores the reality of being a Black woman today, “stripping away the inspirational stories so often platformed in the media, to reveal that among the triumphs, being a Black woman also includes mistakes, mess and tedium, and that they are entitled to that truth too”. The synopsis goes on: “Kimberly’s personal essays—covering race, class, the meritocracy myth, sex, dating, desire, friendship, the modern family and drugs—are a reminder that the stories told about Black women are often reductive, and this is an irreverent riposte to that.”
Agbaje-Williams said: “black girl, no magic is the kind of book that educates, informs, entertains and knocks you off your feet all at once. Kimberly is a truly incredible writer, whose original, intelligent and much-needed voice makes this collection of essays the marvel that it is. black girl, no magic had me nodding, cringing, shaking my head and laughing, and I hope that the honest and unfiltered realities Kimberly so brilliantly writes of will have readers doing exactly the same.”
McIntosh, formerly of the Runnymede Trust, is senior policy and research officer at Child Poverty Action Group. She has written opinion and lifestyle pieces for publications including the Guardian, Washington Post, Independent and Metro, is the love and dating columnist for gal-dem and an associate editor at Wasafiri.
She said: “Black women are excellent—but not 24/7. There is no one way to live a life and we deserve stories that reflect that in all its kaleidoscopic glory and ignominy. Ore Agbaje-Williams instantly got what I was trying to say: the blend of the serious and the silly, the triumphs and the trauma. I’m honoured to have her as my editor and advocate, and to be joining the Borough Press team.”
Peddle commented: “Kimberly is a very special writer and black girl, no magic will become a much-loved, tea-stained, underlined, dog-eared handbook for a generation. Her writing lands like an embrace swiftly followed by a punch to the gut. Kimberly is a talent to watch with an incredibly bright future as an intellectual leader and cultural commentator of our times. This is a book that everyone needs to read—and we’ll all be the better for it.”