Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé: 21-year-old British student lands million-dollar book deal
Author: Wardah Sempa | Thursday 10th September 2020
A 21-year-old British university student, Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé, has landed a million-dollar book deal in the US for her first novel, a high-school thriller that tackles institutionalised racism.
The novel will follow two black students trying to find out who is spreading damaging rumours about them at their elite private school. Following musician Devon and head girl Chiamaka, the only two black students at the white Niveus Private Academy, Àbíké-Íyímídé’s novel is a thriller. It allegedly will explore the fallout when gossip about the pair leaves them fighting for their reputations and eventually their lives. Faridah landed an agent and a UK book deal with Usborne in 2018, working with her editor on the novel for two years before it was sent out on submission to the US, where Macmillan jumped on it. The novel is said to be published next June.
In an interview with The Guardian, Faridah said: “I was in my first year at university and I didn’t have many friends because I don’t drink as I’m Muslim, so I’d be in my room trying to figure out what to do. I was watching a lot of TV shows and I binged Gossip Girl in a few days. I loved it so much but I was really sad that there weren’t many people who looked like me in it. I thought it’d be so cool if the shows I grew up with, like Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl, had more black people in them, so I started planning a story. I’d usually do uni during the day, then come home and write until 4 am.”
Faridah is currently waiting for her term to start – remotely. We love to see it!