Stormzy’s PRH imprint #Merky Books has snapped up Malorie Blackman’s long-awaited autobiography.
William Heineman/#Merky Books editorial director Tom Avery acquired world rights for the as-yet untitled autobiography. The deal was negotiated by Hilary Delamere at The Agency (London) Ltd. Publication is slated for 2022.
One of Britain’s best loved writers, for more than 30 years Blackman’s books have helped shape British culture. She has sold 1.95 million books for £11.67m, with the 2006 paperback of Noughts and Crosses her bestseller at 299,644 copies sold.
The daughter of parents who moved to Britain from Barbados as part of the Windrush Generation, the book will cover Blackman’s happy childhood in south London, her experiences of everyday racism and bigotry of the era and her efforts to study literature at university. She was told she could not apply to study her first love, literature, at university, in spite of her academic potential, but found a way to books and to a life in writing against a number of obstacles.
“This book is an account of that journey, from a childhood surrounded by words, to the 83 rejection letters she received in response to sending out her first project, to the children’s laureateship,” said #Merky Books. “It explores the books who have made her who she is, and the background to some the most beloved and powerful children's stories of today. It is an illuminating, inspiring and empowering account of the power of words to change lives, and the extraordinary life story of one of the world's greatest writers.”
Blackman said: “#Merky Books will be publishing my autobiography in 2022 and I couldn’t be more excited and delighted. Not only will my autobiography be a full and frank account of my life journey as an author, it will also contain all the writer’s tips and tricks I’ve learned over the years. #Merky Books are so innovative and dynamic that I truly believe my autobiography could not have found a better home.”
Whilst receiving a Sky Arts music award presented to him by Blackman last year, Stormzy said of the author: “A special thank you to Malorie Blackman – an incredible, renowned, accomplished, phenomenal author and a childhood hero of mine …. The Noughts & Crosses series are still my favourite books of all time and showed me just how amazing story-telling could be. I think I speak for thousands of kids all over the country (and the world tbh!) when I say we appreciate you and all your work, Malorie Blackman.”