#Merky Books will publish the story of “a viral modern classic of Black British culture”, Keisha the Sket, by Jade LB around 16 years after it was first serialised online.
Lemara Lindsay-Prince, #Merky Books commissioning editor, has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, for the book from Rachel Mann at the Jo Unwin Literary Agency, slated for publication on 14th October 2021.
A spokesperson for the Cornerstone imprint said: “In 2005, Jade LB began releasing chapters of her seminal work, 'Keisha the [Da] Sket' which she had begun in the same year, aged 13. Beginning on the [social networking and blogging] platform formerly known as Piczo, and shared among young people, this timeless coming of age story went on to become a viral modern classic of Black British culture, pioneering both online serialisation and viral content, as well as youth-authored youth experience.”
The blurb for the book reads: “Revisited in print for the first time, Keisha the Sket tells the story of an unforgettable heroine Keisha, a girl from the ends who is sharp, feisty and ambitious; she’s been labelled ‘top sket’ but she’s making it work. When childhood crush and long-time admirer Ricardo finally wins her over, Keisha has it all: power, a love life and the chance for stability. But trauma comes knocking and with it a whirlwind of choices that will define what kind of a woman she truly wants to be.”
Featuring essays from contemporary writers Candice Carty-Williams, Caleb Femi, Aniefiok Ekpoudom and others, “this is the complete and defining edition with edits and additional content from the author, perfect for readers, existing and new, to read and fall in love with over and over again,” #Merky Books said.
Jade LB said: “There isn’t anything that could’ve prepped me for this very emotional and highly political revisiting of Keisha and my teenage self. I’m indescribably grateful to the team of women that journeyed with me to see this project to fruition. Big up the waviest contributors ever — I’m honoured. This re-offering is for Us Lot — we know who we are.”
Lindsay-Prince said: “Publishing Keisha the Sket is the most incredible full circle moment for me, because I can remember the first time Jade’s words came to my attention as a teenager. It’s a story that has stayed with me because above everything it spoke loudly and truthfully to many of the realities of growing up around, or in ‘the ends’. The influence 'Keisha the Sket' has on ‘the culture’ is evident, as well as many foundational pieces of British literature and popular culture today. I can’t wait for audiences – new and old – to meet Keisha and for Jade to receive the reverence she thoroughly deserves.’
Mann said: “It’s an honour to have guided Jade to publication, when her many fans have been calling for this book for over a decade. Keisha the Sket is a foundational piece of British literature, and that it bypassed the publishing industry for so long is shocking. Merky is the perfect home for Jade and Keisha, and we can’t wait for a new generation of readers to hear their stories.”
Jade LB is a London-based writer and academic. Her writing explores topics including Black women and relationships, Black British culture and the Black British working-class experience. She is one half of “The Echo Chamber” podcast which explores the politics of existing whilst Black and working-class and has written for publications such as Black Ballad.