Author Juno Dawson will expose the dark underbelly of the fashion industry in her next YA novel, Meat Market.
"Meat Market is my most challenging book to date, for both readers and myself,” Dawson told The Bookseller. “I spent two years talking to models, bookers, magazine editors and designers to learn as much as I could about the fashion industry from the inside. It's a fascinating and seductive world, but there's a dark side, and that's what I wanted to explore with Meat Market. To be honest, I almost quit because I found the subject matter so difficult, but when the Weinstein scandal broke alongside #metoo, I knew I had to finish the book and tell Jana's story."
The heroine of the novel, Jana Novak, is a girl from a south London estate. Despite being uncomfortable with her looks she is unexpectedly scouted and catapulted to fashion superstardom. The industry is, however, as grimy as it is glamorous and there are unexpected predators at every turn.
Dawson announced the novel at last weekend’s Young Adult Literature Convention (YALC), where she also interviewed Melvin Burgess and revealed the front cover for the Stripes LGBT+ anthology, Proud, which she is curating.
Meat Market will be released by Quercus Children’s Books, part of Hachette Children’s Group, in May next year.