Blackout is a novel made up of interlinked stories celebrating Black love.

By Seija Rankin
November 18, 2020 at 10:00 AM EST
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Credit: Tiffany D. Jackson and Jessica Andree

On Monday, a post started circling on social media that sent YA fans spiraling (in a good way). Authors Dhonielle Clayton, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nic Stone, Angie Thomas, Ashley Woodfolk, and Nicola Yoon posed for a group photo (virtually!), with knowing smirks and the caption "Lights out." The reactions were to as to be expected: internet screams, exclamation points, more than a few shifty-eye emojis. Now EW can exclusively confirm the very big news: The six YA powerhouses are co-authoring a new book.

Blackout is a novel made up of six interlinked stories celebrating Black love. The premise centers on a citywide power outage in New York, with the blackout throwing residents into a tailspin and bringing up new romantic relationships, friendships, and all kinds of hidden truth. "Blackout is our love letter to love, to New York City, and to Black teens," Clayton says. "Our reminder to them that their stories, their joy, their love are valid and worthy of being spotlighted."

The book will publish in the U.S. on June 22, 2021, and will be groundbreaking not just because it marks the collaboration of six of the most influential women in the YA literary space — Jackson is a Coretta Scott King New Talent Award winner and Yoon is a National Book Award finalist, among many other accolades and high sales — but because of its focus on Black joy specifically, especially at a time when authors still feel pressure to write about more headline-generating topics like police brutality (something that Stone and fellow YA author Kim Johnson spoke to EW about this summer).

"There is no fiercer form of rebellion than telling love stories about kids who are often told they're unworthy of them at a time like the one we're living in," Stone says of the upcoming novel. "Blackout was a balm to all of our souls while writing it, and we hope it'll be equally as healing to readers."

More about the book will be revealed in the coming months, but in the meantime you can preorder here and mark your calendars for June and the best blackout of your life.

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