W&N bags 'timely' critique of wokeness

W&N bags 'timely' critique of wokeness

W&N has acquired "a timely critique of wokeness", The Awokening by Ayishat Akanbi, which urges readers to unify in a time of polarisation. 

World rights were acquired by Jenny Lord, publisher at W&N, from Borra Garson at Deborah McKenna Limited. 

The Awokening is branded "a timely and inspiring reminder of the power of curiosity and the benefits of intellectual humility, and an urge to partake in the gruelling task of developing self-awareness, such that we can become more socially aware – and aware of each other".

Meanwhile Lord described the book's author, a fashion stylist, writer, cultural commentator and artist based in London, as "one of the most exciting thinkers and writers of her generation".

"Fast becoming known for being voice of reason in a sea of chaos online, Ayishat’s deeply intelligent first book offers a path towards understanding and self-awareness," Lord said.

Akanbi said: "If the Great Awakening was the 17th-century religious revival, 'the awokening' is the 21st century's religious-like rallying call to social vigilance. But an approach wanting of intellectual humility, curiosity, and self-exploration threatens to deepen the very divisions it endeavours to bridge. Thanks to Jenny Lord, my patient editor at Weidenfeld & Nicolson, The Awokening is my effort to consider how to avoid this, by reimagining the phenomena of 'wokeness' as a framework to better understand ourselves. For if we have only awoken to what is going on around us then we are still partially 'asleep'. In the hope of returning dignity, reason, and resilience to our public discourse, I aim to provide an alternative to our culture of public shaming and moral purity. This isn't the book I thought I was going to write, but it's the one I most urgently needed to write."

The book will be published in hardback, trade paperback, audio and e-book in August 2021.