NEW YORK, October 27 —Today Simon & Schuster announced a multi-book publishing program across adult and children’s divisions with National Book Award finalist Erica Armstrong Dunbar.
Erica Armstrong Dunbar is the author of three works of nonfiction: Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, which was a 2017 finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction and a winner of the 2018 Frederick Douglass Book Award, and is also available as a young readers edition, and She Came to Slay, an illustrated tribute to Harriet Tubman. She is also the author of A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City.
Dunbar’s upcoming nonfiction book for adults will be A Spy in Richmond, slated for publication in February 2024. This book tells the incredible story of Mary Richards, also known as Mary Bowser, a little known hero of the Civil War who was born a slave in Richmond, Virginia, and ended up a spy for the Union Army in the home of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
Aladdin Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, will publish seven books with Dr. Dunbar, including a picture book adaptation of her award-winning Never Caught, three middle grade adaptations of Dunbar’s adult books, and three original middle grade nonfiction biographies of Harriet Jacobs, Ida B. Wells, and Suzie King Taylor.
“It is an honor and a privilege to write Black women’s history, a history that is rich and serves as a cornerstone to understanding our nation’s past,” said Dr. Dunbar. “I am thrilled to work with the incredible team at Simon & Schuster to present new American narratives that center Black women, for readers of every age. Stories of triumph and tragedy resonate with adults and children alike, and I can think of no better time than the present to place this powerful history in its rightful place at the front of our nation’s memory.”
“Erica Armstrong Dunbar is one of the nation’s most important historians, and we’re elated to continue our publishing relationship with her,” said Dana Canedy, Senior Vice President and Publisher of Simon & Schuster. “A Spy in Richmond will showcase her exceptional scholarship and storytelling talents, and will add significant contribution to American history. She is singular in her ability to help readers understand the experience of Black women in America’s past. We look forward to sharing this work with the world.”
“We are beyond thrilled to publish Erica Armstrong Dunbar’s series of biographies as a new line of non-fiction for the middle school audience, giving a new generation of young readers access to narratives that present history in a truthful light,” said Valerie Garfield, Vice President and Publisher of Aladdin.
Dana Canedy will edit A Spy in Richmond. The agreement was for World English, Audio, and First Serial rights acquired from Laura Dail of the Laura Dail Literary Agency.
Valerie Garfield, who acquired the children’s books on behalf of Aladdin and will edit the series, secured World English and First Serial rights from Laura Dail of Laura Dail Literary Agency.
Erica Armstrong Dunbar is the Charles and Mary Beard Distinguished Professor of History at Rutgers University and the National Director of the Association of Black Women Historians. Her first book, A Fragile Freedom: African American Women and Emancipation in the Antebellum City, was published was published by Yale University Press in 2008. Her second book, Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge, was a 2017 finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction and a winner of the 2018 Frederick Douglass Book Award. She is also the author of She Came to Slay, an illustrated tribute to Harriet Tubman. For more information about her work as a writer, historian, and lecturer, visit: https://ericaarmstrongdunbar.com/. (Photo Credit: Whitney Thomas)
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