Jacqueline Woodson, the National Book Award-winning author of the novels “Brown Girl Dreaming” and “Another Brooklyn,” has signed a two-book deal with Riverhead Books.
Entertainment Weekly reports that Riverhead, whose bestselling, award-winning authors include Junot Diaz, Mohsin Hamid and Marlon James, will publish the author's next two books, a novel and a work of nonfiction. Woodson gave the magazine only a vague description of her next projects, saying she's “superstitious.”
“I feel like once I say out loud, to the public, what I’m working on, it’s never going to be an actual book,” she said. “So until it’s close to done, I keep pretty quiet about my next stuff!”
Woodson's most recent book, “Another Brooklyn,” a National Book Award finalist, was published by Harper Collins imprint Amistad last year. She has published with Penguin in the past; her National Book Award-winning middle-grade novel “Brown Girl Dreaming” was released by the Penguin imprint Nancy Paulsen Books in 2014.
Woodson told Entertainment Weekly that she's had a “long-distance crush” on Riverhead for years.
“They’ve always published great writers,” Woodson said. “I love Harper/Amistad and am so glad I returned to the world of ‘adult’ publishing via an imprint committed to the voices of black writers. So glad ‘Another Brooklyn’ has a home there, and now it’s time go head home myself. Since my other books are already part of the Penguin Family, it felt right and good to continue my work with Riverhead.”
Woodson didn't say whether her next novel would be for young readers or for adults, although Riverhead is mostly known for publishing fiction aimed at adults. Woodson has written two adult novels, and several middle-grade and young-adult books.
“I love writing for young people," Woodson said. "It’s the literature that was most important to me, the stories that shaped me and informed my own journey as a writer. ... With adults, the journey is different — we connect in present time on a different level. I can go do a reading and have a glass of wine, which is pretty great. I didn’t know how many independent bookstores had amazing wine lists until I toured with ‘Another Brooklyn.’”